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tihravy of ^he trheolojical ^eminarjp 



Samuel Agnew, Esq 
1814 - 1880 

March 26, 1851 




m^itiiuieXi ana. l^l.lBCeiJT.XiL. 

iFor tfie ilutiUcation of tHe SSIorfeo of t!)e 4Fatf)ero 
anti (f?arlp fflfflJritcrs of tt)e mcformeU 








MARTYR, 1536. 













Prologue to Exposition of St Matthew's Gospel 3 

Exposition of Chaps, v. vi. and vii. of St Matthew's Gospel 16 

Introductory notice to exposition of first Epistle of St John 133 

Prologue to the same 136 

Exposition of the first Epistle of St John 145 

Marginal notes on first twenty-one chapters of St Matthew's Gospel 227 

Introductory notice to Practice of Prelates 237 

Preface to the Practice of Prelates 240 

The Practice of Prelates 249 




[tyndale, il] 


In the advertisement pi-efixed to the first volume of this reprint 
of the writings of Tyndale, the editor announced the intention of ar- 
ranging them in three classes, viz. doctrinal and hortatory treatises ; 
helps to a right understanding of the scriptures, consisting of intro- 
ductory pi-efaces, expositions, and notes upon the sacred text; and 
lastly his replies, and exposures of the adversaries of the Reformation. 

The first volume has accordingly comprehended the whole of the 
first class, and of the introductory prefaces, or prologues, as Tyndale 
styled them. Proceeding, therefore, to the expositions, the present 
volume will commence with Tyndale's exposition of the Sermon on 
the mount, as coming first in the order of the scriptures, though not 
published till 1532, and consequently some months later than his ex- 
position of the first epistle of St Johni. For the following reprint, 
that of Day in 1573, the peculiar readings of which will be marked D., 
has been collated with a copy of the exposition in the archiepiscopal 
library at Lambeth, numbered 401 in Dr Maitland's account of rare 
books in that library, and of which he has said that it may be a 
specimen of the first edition. The readings of the Lambeth edition 
will be distinguished by the letter L. ; and the marginal notes found 
in it will have the initials W. T. attached to them, to mai-k that 
Tyndale is to be held responsible for them alone, the other marginal 
notes being probably composed by Foxe, as editor for Day.] 

[' See Anderson's Annals, Vol. i. § 8 and 9; and Biogr. Notice of Tyndale, pp. li. 
and lii.] 










H Item before the booke, thou hast a Prologe very necessarie, contayn- 
ing the whole summe of the couenaunt made betwene God and 
us, uppon which we be baptised to keepe it. 

Set forth by William TyndalP. 


Here hast thou, dear reader, an exposition upon the fifth, to dig the 
sixth, and seventh chapters of Matthew, wherein Christ, our Abraham 

'^ ^ ' IS to open 

spiritual Isaac, diggeth again the wells of Abraham : which pVa'!" thl^ 
wells the scribes and Pharisees, those wicked and spiteful whieh"'?the 
Philistines, had stopped and filled up with the earth of their goI.'^°™°^ 
false expositions. He openeth the kingdom of heaven, which 
they had shut up that other men should not enter, as they 
themselves had no lust to go in. He restoreth the key of 
knowledge, which they had taken away, and broken the wards, 
with wresting the text, contrary to his due and natural course, 
with their false glosses. He plucketh away from the face of 
Moses the veil which the scribes and Pharisees had spread 
thereon, that no man might perceive the brightness of his 
countenance. He weedeth out the thorns and bushes of their 
Pharisaical glosses, wherewith they had stopped up the narrow 
way and strait gate, that few could find them. 

The wells of Abraham are the scripture. And the scripture Abraham's 
may well be called the kuigdom of heaven, which is eternal The kingdom" 
life, and nothing save the knowledge of God the Father, and whautTs.' 
of his Son Jesus Christ. Moses' face is the law, in her right joimxvii. 
understanding ; and the law in her right understanding is the The key^'"''' 
key, or at the least way the first and principal key, to open w.\. 
the door of the scripture. And the law is the very way that The la wis 

, the way that 

bringeth unto the door Christ, as it is written. Gal. iii. " The leadethto 

° ' Christ. W.r» 

[2 Such is the title placed at the head of this Exposition in Day.] 


Gal. iii. law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might 
be justified by faith." And "the end of the law," that is to say, 

Rom. X. the thing, or cause why the law was given, "is Christ, to justify 
all that beheve^:" that is to say, the law was given to prove 
us unrighteous, and to drive us to Christ, to be made righteous 

L.1W, ^vllat through forpiveuess of sin by him. The law was given to 

licr (iliice is '^ ° • • J 

Y '^' ■ make the sin known, saith St Paul, and that sin committed 

Horn. vii. under the law might be the more sinful. The law is that 

thing which Paul in his inward man granted to be good, but 

was yet compelled ofttimes of his members to do those things 

which that good law condemned for evil. 

The law xhe law maketh no man to love the law, or less to do or 

uttereth-^sm, ^ 

our'Ssf*" commit sin; but gendereth more lust, and increaseth sin. For 

usloch^t I cannot but hate the law, inasmuch as I find no power to do 

^' ^' it ; and it nevertheless condemneth me, because I do it not. 

Rom. V. The law setteth not at one with God, but causeth wrath. 
john^ "The law was given by Moses, but grace and verity by 

fhruwrbut Jesus Christ." Behold, though Moses gave the law, yet he 

giveui grace gave no man grace to do it, or to understand it aright ; or 

to do it, and O . O . i j 

lUKierstand it wroto it lu any man's heart, to consent that it was good, and 
to wish after power to fulfil it. But Christ giveth grace to 
do it, and to understand it aright ; and writeth it with his 
holy Spirit in the tables of the hearts of men ; and maketh it 
a true thing there, and no^ hypocrisy. 

The law, truly understood, is those fiery serpents that 

Thebiasen stung; the children of Israel with present death. But Christ 

.serpent. ^ -^ . . 

nJJi) xxi ^^ ^^^^ brasen serpent ; on whom whosoever, being stung with 
conscience of sin, looketh with a sure faith, is healed imme- 
diately of that stinging, and saved from the pains and sorrows 
of hell. 

The law and It Is ouo thins" to coudcmn, and pronounce the sentence of 

faith be of ° ^ 



death, and to sting the conscience with fear of everlasting pain: 
^v. T. and it is another thing to justify from sin ; that is to say, to 

forgive and remit sin, and to heal the conscience, and certify 
a man, not only that he is delivered from eternal death, but 
also that he is made a son of God and heir of everlasting 
life. The first is the office of the law : the second pertaineth 
unto Christ only, through faith. 

Now if thou give the law a false gloss, and say that the 

[^ So Tyndtile's Translation.] 

[2 That is, detects.] [3 L, no; but D. none.] 


law is a thing which a man may do of his own strength, even 
out of the power of his free-will ; and that by the deeds of the 
law thou may est deserve forgiveness of thy fore*^ sins ; tlien 
died Christ in vain, and is made almost of no stead, seeing thou oai. ii. 
art become thine own saviour. Neither can Christ (where that 
gloss is admitted) be otherwise taken or esteemed of christian 
men, for all his passion and promises made to us in his blood, 
than he is of the Turks : how that he was a holy prophet, and 
that he prayeth for us as other saints do; save that we Chris- 
tians think that he is somewhat more in favour than other 
saints be (though wc imagine him so proud, that he will not 
hear us but through his mild mother and other holy saints, 
which all we count much more meek and merciful than he, 
but him most of might), and that he hath also an higher place 
in heaven, as the Grey friars and Observants set him, as it 
were from the chin upward, above St Francis. 

And so, when by this false interpretation of the law Christ, christ is the 

I'l-ii 1 11 1 /•!• o door, the 

which is the door, the way, and the ground or loundation ot way and 

' , . . . foundation 

all the scripture, is lost concerning the chiefest fruit of his °/^f"(„res 
passion, and no more seen in his own likeness ; then is the 
scripture locked up, and henceforth extreme darkness, and a 
maze, wherein if thou walk, thou wettest neither where thou 
art, nor canst find any way out. It is a confused chaos, and 
a mingling of all things together without order, every thing 
contrary to another. It is an hedge or grove of briars, 
wherein if thou be caught, it is impossible to get out, but that 
if thou loose thyself in one place, thou art tangled and caught 
in another for it. 

This wise was the scripture locked up of the scribes and when hy 
Pharisees, that the Jews could not see Christ when he came, our own 


nor yet can. And though Christ with these three chapters ^7,^ c?ear"^ 
did open it again; yet by such glosses (for our unthankfulness' wo'd^^then'fs 
sake, that we had no lust to live according) have we Christians locke"'up"'^ 
lost Christ again, and the understanding of the most clear ^'°"' "'' 
text, wherewith Christ expoundeth and restoreth the law again. 
For the hypocrites, whatsoever seemeth impossible to their 
corrupt nature, unrenewed in Christ, that they cover over 
with the mist of their glosses, that the light thereof should 
not be seen. As they have interpreted here the words of 
Christ, wherewith he restoreth the law again, to be but good 
[■* Fore, i. e. proyious.] 


no'temwrai couiisels Only, but no precepts that bind the consciences. And 
r^ffiment. thcrcto they have so ruffled and tangled the temporal and 
spiritual regiment together, and made thereof such confusion, 
that no man can know the one from the other : to the intent 
that they would seem to have both by the authority of Clirist, 
which never usurped temporal regiment unto him. 

Notwithstanding, most dear reader, if thou read this 
exposition with a good heart, only to know the truth, for the 
amending chiefly of thine own living, and then of other men's 
(as charity requireth where an occasion is given); then shalt 
thou perceive their falsehood ^ and see their mist expelled 
with the brightness of the inevitable truth. 
Christ is a Another conclusion is this: all the good promises which 

oniy'tothem are mado us throughout all the scripture, for Christ's sake, 

that love the >=> ^ 

vZi^sft ^^^ ^^^^ ^^^^' ^^^^ passion or suffering, his blood-shedding or 

^* ^' , death, are all made us on this condition and covenant on our 

party, that we henceforth love the law of God, to walk therein, 

and to do it, and fashion our lives thereafter : insomuch that 

whosoever hath not the law of God written in his heart, that 

he love it, have his lust in it, and record therein night and 

"otl^seth ^^y^' understanding it as God hath given it, and as Christ 

hath no'prtt ^^^ *^^® apostles expound it, the same hath no part in the 

pomises. promises, nor can have any true faith in the blood of Christ ; 

^' because there is no promise made him, but to them only 

that promise to keep the law. 

Thou wilt haply say to me again. If I cannot have ray 
Works do sins forp-iven except I love the law, and of love endeavour 

not justify. . 

w. "T. myself to keep it ; then the keeping of the law justifieth me. 

1 answer that the argument is false, and but bhnd sophistry, 
and like unto this argument : I cannot have forgiveness of 
my sin except I have sinned ; ergo, to have sinned is the 
forgiveness of sins. And it is like to this also : no man can be 
healed of the plague but he that hath it ; ergo, to have the 
plague doth heal the plague. 

And like sophistry are these arguments : If thou wilt 

Matt. xix. enter into life, keep the commandments ; ergo, the deeds 

Rom.ii. of the law justify us. Item, " The hearers of the law are not 
righteous in the sight of God, but the doers of the law shall 
be justified ;" ergo, the deeds of the law justify from sin. 

2 Cor. V. And again : " We must all stand before the judgment-seat of 
[1 SoD.,butL. falsLepe.] 


Christ, to receive every man according to the deeds which he 
did in the body ;" ergo, the law, or the deeds of the law, 

These, and all such, are naughty ^ arguments. For ye 
see that the king pardoneth no murderer but on a condition, 
that he henceforth keep the law, and do no more so ; and yet 
ye know well enough that he is saved by grace, favour, and 
pardon, ere the keeping of the law come : howbeit, if he 
break the law afterward, he falleth again into the same 
danger of death. 

Even so, none of us can be received to grace but upon a By keeping 
condition to keep the law, neither yet continue any longer in comimi^in 
grace than that purpose lasteth. And if we break the 
law, we must sue for a new pardon ; and have a new fight 
against sin, hell, and desperation, ere we can come to a quiet 
faith again, and feel that the sin is forgiven. Neither can 
there be in thee a stable and an undoubted faith that thy sin is 
forgiven thee, except there be also a lusty courage in thine 
heart, and a trust that thou wilt sin no more ; for on that 
condition, that thou endeavour thyself to sin no more, is the 
promise of mercy and forgiveness made unto thee. 

And as thy love to the law increaseth, so doth thy faith Fasth, love, 
in Christ ; and so doth thine hope and longing; for the life to fHsepSe"^^ 

. , ,1 . 1 , . ■, n . -, , , '" 'his life. 

come. And as thy love is cold, so is thy faith weak ; and w. t. 
thine hope, and longing for the life to come, little. And where 
no love to the law is, there is neither faith in Christ for the 
forgiveness of sin, nor longing for the life to come ; but 
instead of faith a wicked imagination, that God is so un- 
righteous that he is not offended with sin ; and instead of hope 
a desire to live for ever here, and a greediness of worldly 

And unto all such is the scripture locked up, and made They that 
impossible to understand. They may read it, and rehearse law cannot 

, • . , ,. n • 1 understand 

the stories thereof, and dispute or it, as the Turks may ; and ^^^ scripture 

r ' «/ ' to salvation. 

as we may of the Turks' law. And they may suck pride, ^- ^• 
hypocrisy, and all manner of poison there-out, to slay their 
own souls, and to put stumbling-blocks in other men's ways, to 
thrust them from the truth ; and^ get such learning therein 
as in Aristotle's Ethics and Moral philosophy, and in the 
precepts of old philosophers. But it is impossible for them 
[^ That is, worth nought.] [3 L. to get.] 


ca eth for 


to apply one sentence thereof to their sours health, or^ to 
fashion their lives thereby for to please God ; or to make them 
love the law, or understand it ; either to feel the power 
of Christ's death, and might of his resurrection, and the 
sweetness of the life to come : so that they ever remain 
carnal and fleshly ; as thou hast an ensample of the scribes, 
Pharisees, and Jews, in the new Testament. 

Another conclusion is this : of them that believe in Christ 
for the remission of sin, and love the law, are a thousand 
degrees and not so few, one perfccter or weaker than another ; 

Hi- weak. of -which a great sort are so feeble, that they can neither go 
forward in their profession and purpose, nor yet stand, except 
they be holpen and borne of their stronger brethren, and 
tended as young children are by the care of their fathers and 
mothers. And therefore doth God command the elder to care 
for the younger : as Paul teacheth, saying, " We that be 
stronger ought to bear the feebleness of tlie weaker ;" and, 
" Brethren, if any man be caught in any fault, ye that be 
spiritual," and are grown in knowledge, and have gotten the 
victory of your flesh, "teach such with the spirit of softness," 
not calling them heretics at the first chop, and threatening 
them with fire and fagots : but, alter alterius onera j)ortate 
(saith he), and sic adimplehitis legem Christi ; that is to say, 
" Bear each other's burden, and so shall ye fulfil the law of 
Christ." Even so verily shall ye fulfil the law of Christ ; and 
not with smiting your brethren, and putting stumbling-blocks 
before their weak feet, and killing their consciences, and 
making them more afraid of shadows and bugs than to break 
their Father's commandments, and to trust in words of wind 

Rulers, why and vauity more than in their Father's promise. And for 
their sakes also he hath ordained rulers, both spiritual and 
temporal, to teach them and exhort them ; to warn them, and 
to keep occasions from them, that with custom of sin they fall 
not from their profession. 

Why God Now when they that take upon them to be the elder 

sco.irgeth , , , "^ ^ 

'^'^^ ^ brethren arc become hypocrites, and turned to wily foxes 

and cruel wolves and fierce lions, and the ofiicers be waxen 
evil and servants to mammon, ministering their ofiices for 
their own lucre only, and not for the profit of their brethren, 
but favouring all vices whereby they may have a vantage; 
[1 So L., but D. has for.'] 

Gal. vi. 
By bearing 
each others' 
weakness we 
fulfil the law 
of Christ. 

they were 
W. T. 


then is God compelled, of his fatherly pity, to scourge his 
weak himself, with poverty, oppression, wrong, loss, danger, 
and with a thousand manner of diseases, to bring them again, 
if they be fallen, and to keep their hearts fast to their pro- 
fession. So that diligentihus Deum omnia cooperantur in 
bonum : they that love God, that is to say, the law of God Bom. vm. 
(for that is to love God), unto them God turneth all to the 
best; and scourgeth them with the lusts of their own weak- 
ness, to their OAvn salvation. 

Another conclusion is this : God receiveth both perfect 
and weak in like grace, for Christ's sake, as a father receiveth 
all his children, both small and great, in like love. He The condi- 

' _ O ' _ tionsofthe 

receiveth them to be his sons, and maketh a covenant with c^^^™^"'- 
tliem, to bear their weakness for Christ's sake, till they be 
waxen stronger ; and how often soever they fall, yet to forgive 
them if they will turn again ; and never to cast off any, till 
he yield himself to sin, and take sin''s part, and for affection 
and lust to sin fight against his own profession to destroy it. 
And he correcteth and chastiseth his children ever at home, 
with the rod of mercy and love, to make them better; but 
he bringeth them not forth, to be judged after the condem- 
nation of the law. 

Another conclusion is this : every man is two men, flesh Fiesh ana 

, . -^ ' spirit. W. T. 

and spirit; which so fight perpetually one against another, 
that a man must go either back or forward, and cannot stand 
long in one state. If the spirit overcome the temptation, 
then is she stronger, and the flesh weaker. But and if the 
flesh get a custom, then is the spirit none otherwise oppressed 
of the flesh, than as though she had a mountain upon her 
back : and as we sometime in our dreams think we bear hea- 
vier than a millstone on our breasts ; or when we dream, now 
and then, that we would run away for fear, our legs seem 
lieavier than lead ; even so is the spirit oppressed and over- 
laden of the flesh through custom, that she struggleth and 
striveth to get up and break loose in vain; until the God of 
mercy, which heareth her groan through Jesus Christ, come 
and loose her with his power, and put his cross of tribulation 
on the back of the flesh, to keep her down, to minish her 
strength and to mortify her. 

Wherefore every man must have his cross to nail his flesh cross, w. t. 
to, for the mortifying of her. Now, if thou be not strong 


Evil lusts and eiiougli, and discreet thereto, to take np thy cross thyself, 

affections are , ini- p ' . 

with tte'^'''' ^ ^^ tame thy flesh with prayer and fasting, watching, 
ciuht.^ deeds of mercy, holy meditations and reading the scripture, 
and with bodily labour, and in withdrawing all manner of plea- 
sures from the flesh, and with exercises contrary to the vices 
which thou markest thy body most inchned to, and with ab- 
staining from all that courage the flesh against the spirit ; as 
reading of wanton books, wanton communication, foolish jest- 
ing and effeminate thoughts, and talking of covetousness 
Eph. V (which Paul forbiddeth), and magnifying of worldly promo- 

tions ; and takest, I say, up such a cross by thine ownself, 
or by the counsel of other that are better learned and exer- 
cised than thou ; then must God put his cross of adversity 
upon thee. For we must have every man his cross in this 
world ; or be damned with the world. 
^racl"an(fto ^^ ^^^^^ J^ ^^® ^^^ difference between the sin of them that 
ilw""vv.if believe in the blood of Christ for the remission of sin, and 
consent and submit themselves unto the law, and the sin of 
them that yield themselves unto sin, to serve it, &c. The 
first sin under grace ; and their sins are venial, that is to say, 
forgiveable. The other sin under the law, and under the 
damnation of the law, and fight (for a great part of them) 
against grace and against the Spirit of grace, and against the 
law of God and faith of Christ, and corrupt the text of the 
covenant with false glosses, and are disobedient to God, and 
therefore sin deadly. 
Lambs. Of this also ye see the difference between the lambs of 

Swine. true believers; and between the unclean swine, that follow 
Dogs. w. T. carnal lusts and fleshly liberty ; and the churlish and hypo- 
critish dogs, which, for the blind zeal of their own righteous- 
ness, persecute the righteousness of the faith in Christ's blood. 
swine^jjave The effeminate and careless swine, which continue in their 
w.x. fleshlincss, and cease not to wallow themselves in their old 

puddle, think that they believe very well in Christ's blood ; 
but they are deceived ; as thou mayest clearly perceive, be- 
cause they fear not the damnation of evil works, nor love the 
law of good works, and therefore have no part in the promise. 
BaQs love not Thc crucl and doggish hypocrites, which take upon them 
to work, think they love the law ; which yet they never saw, 
save under a veil. But they be deceived ; as thou mayest 
perceive, by that they beUeve not in Christ for the forgive- 

the la 
W. T. 


ness of sin. Whereby also (I mean that they believe not) 
thou mayest perceive that they understand not the law : for 
if they understood the law, it would either drive them to 
Christ, or make them despair immediately. 

But the true behevers behold the law in her own likeness, True faith 

IS coupled 

and see the impossibility thereof to be fulfilled with natural j'^'^^e'iaw 
power ; and therefore flee to Christ for mercy, grace, and ^- ^'• 
power ; and then, of a very thankfulness for the mercy 
received, love the law in her own likeness, and submit them- 
selves to learn it and to profit therein, and to do to-morrow 
that they cannot do to-day. 

Ye see also the difference of all manner of faiths. The The differ- 

ence of 

faith of the true behevers is, that God justifieth or forgiveth ; {f^^^-if^fg 
and Christ deserveth it ; and the faith or trust in Christ's ^tood fei'th 
blood receiveth it, and certifieth the conscience thereof, and -"w't.""' 
saveth and delivereth her from fear of death and damnation. 
And this is that we mean, when we say faith justifieth : that 
faith (I mean in Christ, and not in our own works) certifieth 
the conscience that our sins are forgiven us for Christ's blood's 

But the faith of hypocrites is, that God forgiveth, and Faith of 

1 1 . 11 /»i n • 1 • T ' hypocrites. 

works deserve it : and that same false faith, in their own w. t. 
works, receiveth the mercy promised to the merits of their 
own works ; and so Christ is utterly excluded. 

And thus ye see that faith is the thing that is atiRrmed to 
justify, of all parties. For faith in Christ's blood (which is 
God's promise) quieteth the conscience of the true behevers : 
and a false faith, or trust in works (which is their own feign- 
ing), beguileth the blind hypocrites for a season ; till God for 
the greatness of their sin, when it is full, openeth their eyes, 
and then they despair. But the swine say, God is so good Faith of 
that he will save devils and all ; and damn no man perpe- 
tually, whatsoever he do. 

Another conclusion is this : to believe in Christ for the 
remission of sins, and, of a thankfulness for that mercy, to 
love the law truly : that is to say, to love God that is the 
Father of all and giveth all ; and Jesus Christ, that is Lord 
of us all, and bought us all, with all our hearts, souls, power, 
and might ; and our brethren for our Father's sake (because 
they be created after his image), and for our Lord and master 
Christ's sake, because they be the price of his blood ; and to 

swine. W. T. 


long for tliG life to come, because this life cannot be led with- 

Ti'e right out siii. Thcse three points (I say) are the profession and 

w. T. ■ religion of a christian man, and the inward baptism of the 

heart, signified by the outward washing of the body. And 

they be that spiritual character, badge, or sign, wherewith 

God, through his Spirit, marketh all his immediately and as 

soon as they be joined to Christ, and made members of his 

church by true faith. 

Thechurch The church of Christ, then, is the multitude of all them 

ot Christ. , ^ ' ' 

w- T. that beheve in Christ for the remission of sin ; and, of a 

thankfulness for that mercy, love the law of God purely and 
without glosses ; and, of hate they have to the sin of this 
world, long for the life to come. This is the church that 
cannot err damnably ; nor any long time ; nor all of them : 
but as soon as any question ariseth, the truth of God's pro- 
mise stirreth up one or other to teach them the truth of 
every thing needful to salvation out of God's word ; and 
lighteneth the hearts of the other true members, to see the 
same, and to consent thereto. 

And as all they that have their hearts washed with this 
inward baptism of the Spirit are of the church, and have the 
keys of the scripture, yea, and of binding and loosing, and 
Whosoever do uot err ; even so they that sin of purpose, and will not 
thiim^Vrom hear when their faults be told them, but seek liberties and 
privileges to sin unpunished, and gloss out the law of God, 
and maintain ceremonies, traditions and customs, to destroy 
the faith of Christ, the same be members of Satan, and all 
their doctrine is poison, error and darkness; yea, though 
they be popes, bishops, abbots, curates, and doctors of divi- 
nity, and though they can rehearse all the scripture without 
book, and though they be seen in Greek, Hebrew, and Latin : 
yea, and though they so preach Christ and the passion of 
Christ, that they make the poor women weep and howl again. 
They that For whcn they come to the point, that they should minister 
la^'wVritten^ Christ's passiou unto the salvation of our souls, there they 

in their • i i i 

hearts onnnot poison altogether and gloss out the law, that should make us 

chrrsuo"""'"^*^^^ ^^'^ salvation in Christ, and drive us in that point from 

s^vation. Christ, and teach us to put our trust in our own works for 

the remission and satisfaction of our sins, and in the apish 

play of hypocrites, which sell their merits instead of Christ's 

blood and passion. 

the failh of 
Christ are 
not of the 


Lo, now, dear reader, to believe in Christ's blood for the a short 
remission of sin, and purchasing of all the good promises that w. t. 
help to the life to come ; and to love the law ; and to long what the 
for the life to come, is the inward baptism of the soul, the tilm^'ofthe 
baptism that only availeth in the sight of God ; the new gene- 
ration and image of Christ ; the only key also to bind and 
loose sinners ; the touchstone to try all doctrines ; the lantern 
and light that scattereth and expelleth the mist and darkness 
of all hypocrisy, and a preservative against all error and 
heresy ; the mother of all good works ; the earnest of ever- 
lasting life, and title whereby we challenge our inheritance. 

And though faith in Christ's blood make the marriage 
between our soul and Christ, and is properly the marriage 
garment ; yea, and the sign Thau, that defendeth us from the Thau. w. t. 
smiting and power of the evil angels^; and is also the rock 
■whereon Christ's church is built, and whereon all that is built 
standeth against all weather of wind and tempests ; yet 
might the profession of the faith in Christ's blood, and of the 
love to the law, and longing for the life to come, be called all 
these things, were mahce and froward understanding away ; 
because that where one of them is, there will be all three ; Faith, hope, 
and where all are not, there is none of them. And because are insepara- 

... ble. W. T. 

that the one is known by the other, it is impossible to know 
any of them truly, and not be deceived, but in respect and 
comparison of the other. 

For if thou wilt be sure that thy faith be perfect, then Faith, hope, 
examine thyself whether thou love the law. And in like a?e known^ 
manner, if thou wilt know whether thou love the law aright, other, w. x. 

[1 Tyndale alludes to Ezekiel ix. 4 — 6, where the Latin, of the 
Vulgate translation, makes the Lord say, " Put ohe sign of Thau on the 
foreheads of the men." The Hebrew verb means setting a sign, or 
marking; and the substantive formed from it, ^Pi, signifies a. sign, or 
mark, and is also used as the name of the letter jl, Thau, the last letter 
of the Hebrew alphabet. Hence Jerome, copying the Hebrew substan- 
tive in Roman letters, translates, Signa Thau, where the Septuagint 
renders, Aos arjfie'iov, and our authorised version, ' Set a mark.' Un- 
happily, too, though neither the Hebrew nor the Samaritan charac- 
ters for Thau bear any resemblance to a cross, the Greek and Roman 
character for the corresponding letter, T, obviously has a resemblance 
to it ; so that the text, as read by the Romanists in their Vulgate, con- 
veys the idea of the outward sign of the cross having a defensive power 
in it.] 


then examine thyself whether thou believe in Christ only for 
the remission of sin, and obtaining the promises made in the 
scripture. And even so, compare thy hope of the life to 
come unto faith and love, and to hating the sin of this 
life ; which hate the love to the law engendereth in thee. 
And if they accompany not one another, all three together, 
then be sure that all is but hypocrisy. 

If you say. Seeing faith, love, and hope, be three virtues 
inseparable ; ergo, faith only justifieth not : I answer, though 
they be inseparable, yet they have separable and sundry 

The office of officos ; as it is above said of the law and faith. Faith only, 
' which is a sure and an undoubted trust in Christ, and in the 
Father through him, certifieth the conscience that the sin is 
forgiven, and the damnation and impossibility of the law 
taken away, as it is above rehearsed in the conditions of the 
covenant ; and with such persuasions moUifieth the heart, and 
maketh her love God again and his law. And as oft as we sin, 
faith only keepeth that we forsake not our profession, and that 
love utterly quench not, and hope fail ; and only maketh the 
peace again. For a true behever trusteth in Christ only, and 
not in his own works, or aught else, for the remission of sin. 

The office of And tho office of love is to pour out again the same good- 

love. W. T. ° . ° , 

ness that she hath received of God upon her neighbour, and 
to be to him as she feeleth Christ to herself. The office of 
love only is to have compassion, and to bear with her neigh- 
bour the burden of his infirmities ; and, as it is written, 

James v. opevit multiUidmem, peccatorum, " covereth the multitude 
of sins ;" that is to say, considereth the infirmities, and inter- 
preteth all to the best, and taketh for no sin at all a thousand 
things, of which the least were enough (if a man loved not) 
to go to law for, and to trouble and unquiet an whole town, 
and sometime an whole realm or two. 

The office of And the office of hope is to comfort in adversity and 

' make patient ; that we faint not and fall down under the 
cross, or cast it off our backs. 

And thus ye see that these three, inseparable in this life, 
have yet separable and sundry offices and effects ; as heat 
and dryth^ being inseparable in the fire, have yet their sepa- 
rable operations. For the dryth only expelleth the moistness 
of all that is consumed by fire ; and heat only destroy eth the 
[1 Drought, or dryness.] 


coldness. For dryth and cold may stand together ; and so 
may heat and moistness. It is not all one to say, the dryth 
only, and the dryth that is alone ; nor all one to say, faith 
only, and faith that is alone. 

Go to then, and desire God to print this profession in 
thine heart, and to increase it daily more and more; that 
thou mayest be full shapen like unto the image of Christ, in 
knowledge and love, and meek thyself, and creep low by the 
ground, and cleave fast to the rock of this profession, and tie 
to thy ship this anchor of faith in Christ's blood with the 
cable of love, to cast it out against aU tempests ; and so set 
up thy sail, and get thee to the main sea of God's word. And 
read here the words of Christ with this exposition following, 
and thou shalt see the law, faith, and works, restored each to 
his right use and true meaning ; and thereto, the clear differ- 
ence between the spiritual regiment and the temporal ; and 
shalt have an entrance and open way into the rest of all the 
scripture. Wherein, and in all other things, the Spirit of 
verity guide thee and thine understanding. So be it^. 

[2 Thus L., but D. has Amen.] 







When he saw the people, he went up into a mountain and sat him 
down, and his disciples came to him ; and he opened his mouth, and 
taught them, saying: Blessed be the poor in spirit, for theirs is the 
kingdom of heaven^. 

Christ here, in his first sermon, beginneth to restore the 
law of the ten commandments unto her right understanding, 
against the scribes and Pharisees, which were hypocrites, 
false prophets, and false preachers, and had corrupt the scrip- 
ture with the leaven of their glosses. And it is not without 
Poverty in a great mystery that Christ beginneth his preaching at poverty 
*^"'"' in spirit ; which is neither beggary, nor against the possessing 

of riches, but a virtue contrary to the vice of covetousness, 
the inordinate desire and love of riches, and putting trust in 
Biches.w.T Richcs IS the gift of God, given man to maintain the 
degrees of this world, and therefore not evil ; yea, and some 
must be poor and some rich, if we shall have an order in this 
VForld. And God, our Father, divideth riches and poverty 
among his children, according to his godly pleasure and 
Neither wlsdom. Aud as riches doth not exclude thee from the 
povertrex- blossiug, SO dotli uot povcrty certify thee ; but to put thy 
as"ufe"usof trust iu the living God maketh thee heir thereof. For if 
i"g- thou trust in the living God, then if thou be poor, thou 

covetest not to be rich ; for thou art certified that thy Father 
shall minister unto thee food and raiment, and be thy 

[1 In these expositions Tyndale appears to have translated the 
Greek text afresh, as each passage came before him, instead of copying 
his own previously published version.] 


defender : and if thou have riches, thou knowest that they be 
but vanity, and that as thou broughtest them not into the 
world, so shalt thou not carry them out ; and that as they be 
thine to day, so may they be another man's to-morrow ; and 
that the favour of God only both gave and also keepeth thee 
and them, and not thy wisdom or power ; and that they, 
neither aught else, can help at need, save the good will of thy 
heavenly Father only. Happy and blessed then are the poor whoare 
in spirit, that is to say, the rich that have not their confidence spint, is here 

. . " . . . pithily de- 

nor consolation in the vanity of their riches ; and the poor, '^^^^'i- 
that desire not inordinately to be rich, but have their trust in 
the living God for food and raiment, and for all that per- 
taineth either to the body or the soul ; for theirs is the 
kingdom of heaven. 

And contrariwise, unhappy and accursed, and that with 
the first and deepest of all curses, are the rich in spirit : that Rich in 

spirit. W. T, 

is to say, the covetous that, being rich, trust in their riches, 
or, being poor, long for the consolation of riches ; and comfort 
not their souls with the promises of their heavenly Father, 
confirmed with the blood of their Lord Christ. For unto Mark x. 
them it is harder to enter into the kingdom of heaven, than 
for a camel to enter through the eye of a needle. No ; they 
have no part in the kingdom of Christ and God. There- Eph. v. 
fore is it evident, why Christ so diligently warneth all 
his to beware of covetousness ; and why he admitteth none 
to be his disciples, except they first forsake all together. For 
there was never covetous person true yet, either to God 
or man. 

If a covetous man be chosen to preach God's word, he is covetousness 
a false prophet immediately. If he be of the lay sort, soc«"^aryto 
joineth he himself unto the false prophets, to persecute the ^ie''imniiie'rs 
truth. Covetousness is not only, above all other lusts, those ^"^f/"™^- ■ 
thorns that choke the word of God in them that possess it ; 
but it is also a deadly enemy to all that interpret God's word 
truly. All other vices, though they laugh them to scorn 
that talk godly, yet they can suffer them to live, and to dwell 
in the country : but covetousness cannot rest, as long as there 
is one that cleaveth to God's word in all the land. 

Take heed to thy preacher therefore, and be sure, if he By covetous- 

'' ^ . ' . ' uess is a false 

be covetous and gape for promotion, that he is a false prophet, ^^^^'^l'^^'^ 
and leaveneth the scripture, for all his crying, ' fathers, ^"j"- 
r -1 2 ■ ■ 


naught, not 
for their own 
and others' 
iniquity; but 

18 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

fathers,' ' holy church,' and ' fifteen hundred years ^' and for 
all his other holy pretences. 

Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. 
This mourning is also in the spirit, and no kin to the sour 
fhd'r own looking of hypocrites, nor to the impatient waywardness of 
those fleshly, which ever whine and complain that the world 
Msr^heT"^ ' is naught, because they cannot obtain and enjoy their lusts 
their own therein. Neither forbiddeth it always to be merry, and to 
laugh, and make good cheer now and then, to forget sorrow, 
that overmuch heaviness swallow not a man clean up. For 
the wise man saith, " Sorrow hath cost many their lives." 
Prov. xvii. And, " An heavy spirit drieth up the bones." And Paul com- 
niira'xii. mandeth to "rejoice ever." And he saith, "Rejoice with 
them that rejoice ; and sorrow with them that sorrow, and 
weep with them that weep :" which seem two contraries, 
mourning. Tliis mouming is that cross without which was never any 

^' ^" disciple of Christ, or ever shall be. For of whatsoever state 

or degree thou be in this world, if thou profess the gospel, 
there followeth thee a cross (as warmness accompanieth the 
sun shining), under which thy spirit shall groan and mourn 
secretly, not only because the world and thine own flesh 
carry thee away, clean contrary to the purpose of thine 
heart ; but also to see and behold the wretchedness and mis- 
fortunes of thy brethren, for which (because thou lovest them 
as well as thyself) thou shalt mourn and sorrow no less than 
for thyself. Though thou be king or emperor, yet if thou 
knoAvcst Christ, and God through Christ, and intendest to 
walk in the sight of God, and to minister thine ofiice truly, 
thou shalt (to keep justice with all) be compelled to do daily 
that, which thou art no less loath to do than if thou shouldest 
cut off arm, hand, or any other member of thine own body. 
Yea, and if thou wilt follow the right way, and neither turn 
on the right hand nor on the left, thou shalt have immediately 
thine own subjects, thine own servants, thine own lords, thine 
own counsellors, and thine own prophets thereto, against thee ; 
unto whose froward malice and stubbornness, thou shalt be 
compelled to permit a thousand things against thy conscience, 

[^ Alluding to the jiriests' common assertion, that the customs then 
prevalent in the church were instituted by the apostles fifteen hun- 
dred years before Tyndalo's time.] 

As warmth 
eth the sun, 
so followeth 
the cross a 
trvie christian 

V. 4.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 19 

not able to resist them, at which thine heart shall bleed 
inAvardly; and shalt sauce thy sweet sops, which the world 
weeneth thou hast, with sorrows enough ; and still mourning, 
studying either alone, or else with a few friends secretly 
night and day, and sighing to God for help to mitigate the 
furious frowardness of them whom thou art not able to with- 
stand, that all go not after the will of the ungodly. What 
was David compelled to suffer all the days of his life of his 
own servants, the sons of Zeruiah^, beside the mischances of 
his own children ! And how was our king John forsaken of King John. 
his own lords, when he would have put a good and godly 
reformation in his own land P How was Henry the second Henry the 

" second. 

compassed in like manner of his own prelates, whom he had w. t. 
promoted of nought, with the secret conspiracy of some of his 
own temporal lords with them ! I spare to speak of the 
mourning of the true preachers, and the poor common people 
which have none other help, but the secret hand of God, and 
the word of his promise. 

But they shall be comforted of all their tribulation, and The promise 
their sorrow shall be turned into ioy, and that infinite andworcu^the 

" 'J ' comfort of 

everlasting, in the life to come. Neither are they without [n^thll'wraid 
comfort here in this world ; for Christ hath promised to send sake!*"""^ 
them a Comforter to be with them for ever, the Spirit of 
truth which the world knoweth not. And they "rejoice in rohnxiv. 
hope" of the comfort to come. And they overcome through 
faith, as it is written, The saints " through faith overcame Heb. xi. 

[2 Seruia, D.] 

[3 In so saying, there can be no doubt that Tyndale alluded to 
-what passed in 1207 — 9, as related by the monkish historian, Mat- 
thew Paris, who mentions how John forbade ecclesiastical ai3poals 
to Rome ; telling Innocent III., that ' Cum archiepiscopi, episcopi et 
alii ecclesiarum pra^lati, tam de regno Anglia3 quam aliarum terrarum 
suarum, in omnium scientiarum plenitudine sufficienter abundent, si 
necessitas coegerit, extra terras suas justitiam vel judicium ab alieni- 
genis non emendicaret' : also that by John's orders, 'Presbyterorum 
et clericorum focarise per totam Angliam a ministris regis capta3 sunt, 
et graviter ad se redimendum compulsse:' and that John patronised a 
preacher who affirmed, 'ad papam jion pertinere de regum sive de 
quorumlibet potentum laica possessione, vel subditorum regimine ; 
cum prsecipue principi ajjostolorum Petro nihil a Domino nisi ecclesite 
tantum ac rerum ecclesiasticarum sit collata potestas.' — Matt. Paris. 
Hist. Angl. f. 188 — 92. Lond. 1686.] 


Faith is our 
W. T. 
1 John V. 

20 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

kingdoms, and obtained the promises." And " this is the 
victorj that overcometh the world, even our faith." But the 
Wind world neither seeth our comfort, nor our trust in God, 
nor how God, through faith in his word, helpeth us, and 
maketh us overcome. 

How overcome they (wilt thou say) that be always per- 
secuted, and ever slain? Verily in every battle some of 
them that win the field be slain : yet they leave the victory 
unto their dear friends, for whose sakes they took the fight 
upon them ; and therefore are conquerors, seeing they obtain 
their purpose, and maintain that they fought for. The cursed 
rich of this world, which have their joy and comfort in their 
riches, have since the beginning fought against them, to weed 
By persecu- them out of the world : but yet in vain. For though they 

tionand , . ,. '', , i-i 

death for the havc always sum some, yet those that were slam won the 

truth's sake . '' •J 

we obtain victory for their brethren with their death, and ever in- 

life, and get « ' 

the victory, croascd the number of them. And though they seemed to 

die in the sight of the foolish, yet they are in peace, and 

The mourn- liavo obtained that everlasting kingdom for which they fought. 

ers for right- _° . V . . . . "L ? . 

eousness ar 
saved, when 
God taketh 

on the 

Luke vi. 
Luke xvi. 

eousness^aje Aud bcsidcs all this, whcu God plagueth the world for their 
geance' ^^"' t^^^se that moum and sorrow are marked with the sign 
ueou"' of Thau in their foreheads, and saved from the plague, that 
they perish not with the wicked, as thou seest, and as Lot 
was delivered from among the Sodomites. 

And contrariwise, cursed are they that laugh now, that 
is to say, which have their joy, solace, and comfort in their 
riches ; for they shall sorrow and weep. And as it was an- 
swered the rich man, " Son, remember how that thou re- 
ceivedst thy good days in thy hfe-time, and Lazarus likewise 
evil ; and therefore is he comforted and thou tormented." 

3. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 

Meekness By the earth understand all that we possess in this world ; 

^e earth, which all God will keep for us, if we be soft and meek. 
And whatsoever trouble arise, yet, if we will be patient and 
abide, the end will go on our side; as it is wi'itten in the thirty- 

[Psai.xxxvii. sixth Psalm, " The wicked shall be weeded out, but they 
that abide the Lord's leisure' shall inherit the earth." And 
again : " Within a while the wicked shall be gone, thou shalt 
behold the place where he was, and he shall be away; but the 
meek (or soft) shall inherit the earth." Even as we say, ' Be 


V, 5.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 21 

still, and have thy will ; ' and, ' Of little meddling cometh 
much rest;' for a patient man shall wear out all his enemies. 
It is impossible to dwell in anj place where no displeasure 
should be done thee. If it be done unwillingly, as when thy 
neighbour's beasts break into thy corn by some chance 
against his will, then it is reason that thou be soft and 
forgive. If it be done of malice and self-will, then with re- 
venging thou dost but, with pottering in the fire, make the 
flame greater, and givest an occasion of more evil to be done 
thee. If any man rail on thee and rebuke thee, answer not 
again, and the heat of his malice shall die in itself, and go 
out immediately ; as fire doth, when no more wood is laid 
thereon. If the wrong that is done be greater than thou art Refer the 
able to bear, trust in God, and complain with all meekness thV^cause to 
unto the officer, that is set of God to forbid such violence, tratewhom 

God appoint- 

And if the gentlemen that dwell about thee be tyrants, be such'iS.'^^"' 
ready to help to fetch home their wood, to plough their land, ^^'^''^• 
to bring in their harvest, and so forth; and let thy wife 
visit my lady now and then with a couple of fat hens, or a 
fat capon, and such like, and then thou shalt possess all the 
remnant in rest : or else one quarrel or other may be picked 
to thee, to make thee quit of all together. 

Choose whether thou wilt, with softness and sufi'cring, 
have God on thy side, ever to save thee, and to give thee 
ever enough, and to have a good conscience and peace on the 
earth ; or with furiousness and impatience, to have God 
against thee, and to be polled a little and a little of all together, 
and to have an evil conscience and never rest on earth, and 
to have thy days shortened thereto. God hath promised, if 
thou be meek and soft and suffer a little persecution, to give 
thee not only the life to come, but also an hundredfold here 
in this life : that is to say, to give thee his ownself, and to be Hundred 

. • 1 11-1 f°'^- W. T. 

thy protector, and mmister to thee ever enough, which may 
of right be called an hundredfold, and is a treasure passing 
the treasure of all princes. 

Finally, Christ teacheth here how every man must live The private 

n 1 • Tf 1 1 • • 1 1 1 • person may 

for himself among; them to whom he is a neighbour, and in not avenge, 

o . but the officer 

private matters in which he is but as a neighbour (though he ^"^^^ 
be a king), and in which thou canst not be too soft. But 
and if thou be an officer, then thou must be good, kind, and 
merciful ; but not a milksop, and negligent. And to whom 




thou art a father, them must thou rule, and make obedient, 
and that with sharpness, if softness will not be heard, and so 
in all other offices. 

How this 
word right- 
ought here 
to be under- 

Monks, why 
they run into 
W. T. 

4. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they 
shall be fulfilled. 

!- Righteousness in this place is not taken for the principal 

righteousness of a christian man, through which the person is 
good and accepted before God. For these eight points are 
but doctrine of the fruits and works of a christian man, before 
which the faith must be there, to make righteous without all 
deserving of works, and as a tree out of which all such fruits 
and works must spring. Wherefore understand here the out- 
ward righteousness before the world, and true and faithful 
dealing each with other, and just executing of the offices of all 
manner degrees, and meek obedience of all that are under 
power. So that the meaning is : happy are they which not 
only do their duties to all men, but also study and help to 
the uttermost of their power, with word, deed, counsel, and 
exhorting, that all other deal truly also, according to the de- 
gree that every man beareth in the world ; and be as desirous 
to further good order and righteous dealing, as the hungry 
and thirsty be desirous to eat and drink. 

And note, that it is not for nought that he saith. Hunger 
and thirst. For except thy soul hunger and thirst for this 
righteousness of her new nature, as the body doth for meat 
and drink of his old nature, the devil and the children of this 
world (which cannot suffer that a man either deal truly him- 
self, or help other) will so resist thee, plague thee, and so 
weary thee, that thou hadst lever, of very mistrust, and 
desperation that thy state ^ should be better, to forsake all, 
and make thyself a monk or a friar, yea, and to run into 
a strange country, and leave all thy friends, than to abide 
in the world, and to let it choose whether it will sink or 

But to comfort us, that we faint not or be weary of 
well doing, Christ promiseth that all that have this thirst 
and hunger shall have their lust satisfied, and be translated 
into a kingdom where none unrighteousness is; besides that 

[1 So D., but L. has that aught.} 

V. 6.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 23 

thou shalt here at length ^ see many come to the right way, 
and help with thee, and many things that cannot be alto- 
gether mended, yet somewhat bettered and more tolerable ; 
so that all righteousness shall not be quenched. 

And contrariwise, "Cursed be all they that are full," as Luke vi. 
Luke in the sixth saith ; that is to say, the hypocrites which, 
to avoid all labour, sorrow, care, cumbrance, and suffering Monks 
with their brethren, get them to dens, to live at rest, and to w. t.' 
fill their bellies ; the wealth of other men not regarded. No, 
it were a grief to them that other were better, that they 
alone may be taken for holy ; and that whosoever will to 
heaven, must buy it of them. Yea, they be so full, that they 
prefer themselves before^ poor sinners, and look as narrowly 
on them as the Pharisee did on the publican, thanking God 
that he alone was good, and the other evil. Cursed are they 
yet for all their fulness ; for they shall hunger with everlast- 
ing hunger, where none shall give them to eat, nor they have 
any refreshing of their pains. 

Blessed be the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. 6. 

To be merciful is to have compassion and to feel another Tobemcrci- 

,,. , •111 t n ful.whatit 

man s disease ; and to mourn with them that mourn, and suf- "s. w. t. 
fer with them that suffer ; and to help and succour them 
that are in tribulation and adversity ; and to comfort them 
with good counsel, and wholesome instruction, and loving 
words. And to be merciful is lovingly to forgive them that 
offended thee, as soon as they knowledge their misdoing and 
ask thee mercy. To be merciful is patiently long to abide 
the conversion of sinners with a lusty courage, and hope that 
God will at the last convert them, and in the mean time to 
pray instantly for them ; and ever when he seeth an occasion 
to exhort them, warn them, monish them, and rebuke them. 
And to be merciful is to interpret all to the best; and to 
look through the fingers at many things ; and not to make a 
grievous sin of every small trifle ; and to suffer and forbear, 
in his own cause, the malice of them that will not repent nor 
be aknown of their wickedness, as long as he can suffer it, and 
as long as it ought to be suffered ; and when he can no longer, 

[2 So D., but L. hear and see.] 

[3 So D., but L., compare themselves to open.] 

24 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

then to complain to them that have authority to forbid wrong, 
and to punish such evil doers. 

Monks. But the hypocrites, clean contrary, condemn all men for 

grievous sinners, save them only that buy their holiness of 
them. And because they will suffer with no man, they get 
them to silence. And because they will help no man, all that 

Convent. they havc (say they) pertaineth unto the covent^ and is 
none of theirs. And if they be offended, they will be avenged 
immediately. And to cloak, that they should not seem to 
avenge themselves, the matter (say they) pertaineth to God 
and holy church, or to some saint, or to one or other holy 
thing : as if thou smite one of them on the one cheek, he will 

Oil. turn to thee the other, ere he will avenge himself ; but the 

Holy oil injury of the holy oil wherewith he was anointed, that must 

must be , , , . , • • i 

'^en|ed. lie avenge, and that with a spiritual punishment ; that thou 
must be accursed as black as a collier, and delivered to Satan. 
And if thou come not in, and ask absolution, and offer thyself 
to penance and to paying thereto, they will not suffer till 
the devil fetch thee, but will deliver thee to the fire, in the 
mean time ; and all for zeal of righteousness, say they. 

Hghteous- ^ hypocrites ! the zeal of righteousness is to hunger and 

Ins.' "w! T. thirst for righteousness, as it is above described : that is, to 
care, and study, and to do the uttermost of thy power, that 
all things went in the right course and due order, both 
through all degrees of the temporalty and also of the spi- 
ritualty, and to jeopard life and goods thereon. 

Care. All the woHd can bear record what pain ye take, and 

how ye care, for the temporal commonwealth, that all degrees 
therein did and had their duty ; and how ye put your lives 
in adventure to preach the truth, and to inform lords and 
princes, and to cry upon them to fear God and to be learned, 
and to minister their ofiices truly unto their subjects, and to 
be merciful, and an example of virtue unto them. And how 
help ye that youth were brought up in learning and virtue, 
and that the poor were provided for, of food and raiment, &c.? 
And how provide ye that your priests be all learned, and 
preach, and do their duties truly every man in his parish ? 
IIow provide ye that sects arise not, to poll the people and 
lead them out of the way, under a colour of praying and 
hypocritish holiness, living themselves idle, and being utterly 
[1 Covent: convent.] 

How the 
care for the 

V. 7.] MATTHEW V. VI. VIL 25 

unto the commonwealth unprofitable ? Who smelleth not the 
sweet odour of chastity, that is among you ? What righte- 
ousness is in your sanctuaries, and what indifferent equity is 
in all your exemptions, privileges, and liberties ! By your 
works we judge you, and your zeal to righteousness ; and 
not by your sophistical subtle reasons, with which ye would 
claw our ears, bleer our eyes, and beguile our wits, to take 
your tyrannous covetous crudelity^ for the zeal of righte- 
ousness ! 

Finally, he that will not be merciful, to be blessed of God, as thou art 

, merciful, so 

and to obtain mercy of him, both here and in the life to o'i^!in''°",cy 
come, let him be accursed with the unmerciful, and to him be '^J^l '*^'' '" 
"judgment without mercy," according to the words of St James ii. 
James in the second chapter of his epistle. 

Blessed be the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 6. 

" That wliich entereth into a man defileth not a man, 
but the things that defile a man proceed first out of his 
heart," as thou may est see Matt. xv. "Thence come out The tiithiness 
evil thoughts (saith Christ), as murder, adultery, fornication, what. w. x. 
theft, false witnessings and blasphemies. These are the things 
that make a man foul." A man then is not foul in the sight 
of God, till his heart be foul. And the filthiness of the heart 
are thoughts that study to break God's commandments. 
Wherefore the pureness of the heart is the consenting and The pureness 

1 1 n ^ 1 ^ t of the heart, 

studious^ purpose to keep the law of God, and to mean truly what, w.t 
in all thy words and works, and to do them with a true 

It followeth then that thou mayest be pure-hearted, and 
therewith do all that God hath commanded, or not forbidden. 
Thou mayest be pure-hearted, and have a wife and get 
children ; be a judge, and condemn to death them that have 
deserved it; hang or behead evil doers, after they be by 
a just process condemned. Thou mayest be pure-hearted, 
and do all the drudge in the world. Lot was pure-hearted 
among the Sodomites. Nicodemus, being in the council, 
among them that conspired the death of Christ, was pure- 

[2 Crudelity, i. e. cruelty, from the Latin form of the word ] 
[3 Study and studious, are here used in that sense which they have 
in the Latin; that is, to desire, and desirous.] 

26 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

heartedj and consented not with them to the death of that 
The end of If the law bo written in thine heart, it will drive thee to 

the law is to 

that befieve ^h^^^*- ' wliich is tlio end of the law, to justify all that believe. 
Rom. X. And Christ will shew thee his Father. " For no man seeth 

[Matt. XI. 

^■^ the Father but the Son, and he to whom the Son will shew 

him." If thou believe in Christ that he is thy Saviour, that 
faith will lead thee in immediately, and shew thee God with 
a lovely and amiable countenance ; and make thee feel and 
see how that he is thy Father, altogether merciful to thee, and 
at one with thee, and thou his son, and highly in his favour 
and grace, and sure that thou pleasest him, when thou dost 
an hundred things which some holy people would suppose 
themselves defiled if they should but think on them. And to 
see God is the blessing of a pure heart. 
hMn"eTwho Impure and unclean-hearted, then, are all they that study 
are. w. T. ^q break God's commandments. Impure-hearted are all that 
believe not in Christ, to be justified by him. Impure-hearted 
are all hypocrites, that do their work for a false purpose, 
either for praise, profit, or to be justified thereby ; which 
painted sepulchres (as Christ calleth them) can never see God, 
or be sure that they be in the state of grace, and that their 
works be accepted ; because they have not God's word with 
them, but clean against them. 

7. Blessed are the peace-makers, for they shall be called the childi-en 
of God. 

Peace- To inherit this blessing, it is not only required that thou 

what. ' have peace in thyself, and that thou take all to the best, and 

be not offended hghtly and for every small trifle, and alway 

ready to forgive, nor sow no discord, nor avenge thine own 

wrong ; but also that thou be fervent and diligent to make 

peace, and to go between, where thou knowest or hearest 

malice and envy to be, or seest hate or strife to arise between 

person and person, and that thou leave nothing unsought, to 

set them at one. 

Princes, And though Christ here speak not of the temporal sword, 

ought to do but teacheth how every man shall live for himself toward his 

ere they ^ 

make war. nciglibour ; yct princes, if they will be God's children, must 
not only give no cause of war, nor begin any ; but also 
(though he have a just cause) suffer himself to be entreated, if 

V. 9.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 27 

he that gave the cause repent ; and must also seek all ways of 
peace, before he fight. Howbeit when all is sought, and 
nothing will help, then he ought, and is bound, to defend his 
land and subjects : and in so doing he is a peace-maker, as well 
as when he causeth thieves and murderers to be punished for 
their evil doing, and breaking of the common peace of his 
land and subjects. 

If thou have peace in thyself, and lovest the peace of thy when thou 
brethren after this manner, so is God, through Christ, at sure thyself 

' ' o ' to be the son 

peace with thee ; and thou his beloved son, and heir also. gJ^!"®" °*^ 

Moreover, if the wrong done thee be greater than thou 
mayest bear : as when thou art a person not for thyself only, 
but in respect of other, in whatsoever worldly degree it be, 
and hast an office committed thee ; then (when thou hast 
warned, with all good manner, him that did it, and none 
amendment will be had) keep peace in thine heart and love 
him still, and complain to them that are set to reform such 
things ; and so art thou yet a peace-maker, and still the son 
of God. But if thou avenge thyself, or desirest more than vengeance 

1 1 /» 1 • 1 1 1 • '/-IT' pertaineth to 

that such wrong ^ be forbidden, thou smnest agamst God m ^'i °n^y- 
taking the authority of God upon thee, without his command- 
ment. God is Father over all, and is (of right) judge over all 
his children, and to him only pertaineth all avenging. Who 
therefore without his commandment avengeth, either with 
heart or hand, the same doth cast himself into the hands of 
the sword, and loseth the right of his cause. 

And on the other side, cursed be the peace-breakers, pick- 
quarrels, whisperers, backbiters, sowers of discord, dispraisers 
of them that be good, to bring them out of favour, interpre- 
ters to evil that is done for a good purpose, finders of faults 
where none is, stirrers up of princes to battle and war ; and 
above all, cursed be they that falsely belie the true preachers 
of God's word, to bring them into hate, and to shed their 
blood wrongfully, for hate of the truth : for all such are 
children of the devil. 

Blessed are they that suffer persecution for righteousness' sake, for 8. 
theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

If the faith of Christ and law of God (in which two all m the faith 
righteousness is contained,) be written in thine heart; that is, lawofood 

° ' allourrighte- 

n n T 1 , -r^. T ousnessis 

L (So Li., but D. wrongs. \ contained. 




The peace 
of Christ is a 
peace of con' 
W. T. 

To suffer 
with Christ 
in this 
world is to 
be glorified 
with him in 
the world to 

] John iii. 
Phil. ill. 

if thou believe in Christ to be justified from sin, or for remis- 
sion of sin, and consentest in thine heart to the law, that it is 
good, holy, and just, and thy duty to do it, and submittest 
thyself so to do ; and thereupon goest forth, and testifiest that 
faith and law of righteousness openly unto the world, in word 
and deed ; then will Satan stir up his members against thee, 
and thou shalt be persecuted on every side. But be of good 
comfort, and faint not. Call to mind the saying of Paul, how 
" all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecu- 
tion." Remember how all the prophets that went before thee 
were so dealt with. Remember the examples of the apostles, 
and of Christ himself; and that the disciple is no better than 
his master ; and that Christ admitteth no disciple, which not 
only leaveth not all, but also taketh his cross too. We be not 
called to a soft living, and to peace in this world ; but unto 
peace of conscience in God our Father, through Jesus Christ, 
and to war in this world. 

Moreover comfort thyself with the hope of the blessing of 
the inheritance of heaven, there to be glorified with Christ, if 
thou here suffer with him. For if we be like Christ here in 
his passions, and bear his image in soul and body, and fight 
manfully^ that Satan blot it not out, and suffer with Christ 
for bearing record to righteousness ; then shall we be like him 
in glory. St John saith in the third chapter of his epistle, 
" Yet 2 appeareth not what we shall be, but we know that 
when he appeareth, we shall be like him." And Paul, "Our 
conversation is in heaven, whence we look for a Saviour, the 
Lord Jesus Christ, which shall change our vile bodies, and 
make them like his glorious body." 

It is an happy thing to suffer for righteousness' sake, but 
not for unrighteousness. "For what praise is it" (saith Peter, 
in the second of his first epistle), "though ye suffer, when ye 
be buffeted for your offences ?" Wherefore in the fourth of 
the same he saith, "See that none of you suffer as a murderer, 
or a thief, or an evil doer, or a busy body in other men's 
matters." Such suffering glorifieth not God, nor art thou 
thereby heir of heaven. Beware therefore that thou deserve 
not that thou sufferest. But if thou do, then beware much 
more of them that would bear thee in hand, how that such 
suffering should be satisfaction of thy sins, and a deserving of 
[• L. has ym that.] [2 L. has yet it.] 

V. 10.] MATTHEW V. VI, VII. 29 

heaven. No : sufferino; for righteousness, though heaven be no bodily 

' . ' O pain can be 

promised thereto, yet doth it not deserve heaven, nor yet fo'eoJ^save 

make satisfaction for the fore sins : Christ doth both twain, ^on.^''*^''. t. 

But and if thou repent and believe in Christ for the remission 

of sin, and then confess, not only before God, but also openly, 

before all that see thee suffer, how that thou hast deserved 

that thou sufferest, for breaking the good and righteous law 

of thy Father, and then takest thy punishment patiently, as 

an wholesome medicine to heal thy flesh that it sin no more, 

and to fear thy brethren that they fall not into like offence, 

as Moses teacheth every where ; then, as thy patience in 

suffering is pleasant in the sight of thy brethren which behold 

thee, pity thee, and suffer with thee in their hearts, even so 

is it in the sight of God, and it is to thee a sure token that 

thou hast true faith and true repentance. 

And as they be blessed which suffer for righteousness, 
even so are they accursed which run away, and let it be 
trodden under the feet, and will not suffer for the faith of 
their Lord and law of their Father, nor stand by their 
neighbours in their just causes. 

Blessed are ye, when tliey revile you, and persecute you, and say all 9. 
manner of evil sayings against you for my sake, and yet lie. 
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven. Even so 
verily they persecuted the prophets that were before you. 

Here seest thou the uttermost, what a christian man must 
look for. It is not enough to suffer for righteousness ; but 
that no bitterness or poison be left out of thy cup, thou shalt what the 

■*■ t/ i ' most cruel 

be reviled and railed upon ; and even when thou art con- |g'^'^^^'*j|,'" 
demned to death, then be excommunicate and delivered to 
Satan, deprived of the fellowship of holy church, the company 
of the angels, and of thy part in Christ's blood ; and shalt be 
cursed down to hell, defied, detested, and execrate with all 
the blasphemous railings that the poisonfuP heart of hypo- 
crites can think or imagine ; and shalt see before thy face 
when thou goest to thy death, that all the world is persuaded 
and brought in belief that thou hast said and done that thou 
never though test, and that thou diest for that thou art as 
guiltless of as the child that is unborn. 

[3 So D., but L. poison hearts. See Vol. i. p. 17, n. 4.] 




Well, though iniquity so highly prevail, and the truth, 
for which thou diest, be so low kept under, and be not once 
known before the world, insomuch that it seemeth rather to 
be hindered by thy death than furthered, (which is of all 
griefs the greatest;) yet let not thine heart fail thee, neither 
despair, as though God had forsaken thee, or loved thee not : 
but comfort thyself with old ensamples, how God hath suf- 
fered all his old friends to be so entreated, and also his only 
Set the ex- and dear son Jesus; whose ensample, above all other, set 

ample of ■, ^ . ^ 

tiI'ee."w!"°T! ''^^^ore thme eyes, because thou art sure he was beloved above 
all other, that thou doubt not but thou art beloved also, and 
so much the more beloved, the more thou art like to the 
image of his ensample in suffering. 

Did not the hypocrites watch him in all his sermons, to 
trap him in his own words ? Was he not subtilly apposed, 
whether it were lawful to pay tribute to Caesar ? Were not 
all his words wrong reported ? Were not his miracles ascribed 
to Beelzebub ? Said they not, he was a Samaritan, and had 
a devil in him ? Was he not called a breaker of the sabbath, 
a wine-drinker, a friend of pubhcans and sinners ? Did he 
aught wherewith no fault was found, and that was not inter- 
preted to be done for an evil purpose? Was not the pre- 
tence of his death the destroying of the temple, to bring him 
into the hate of all men ? Was he not thereto accused of 
treason, that he forbad to pay tribute to Caesar, and that he 
moved the people to insurrection ? Railed they not on him 
in the bitterest of all his passion, as he hanged on the cross, 
saying, " Save thyself, thou that savest other," " come down 
from the cross, and we will beheve in thee;" fie, wretch, 
"that destroy est the temple" of God? 

Yet he was beloved of God ; and so art thou. His cause 
came to light also, and so shall thine at the last ; yea, and 
thy reward is great in heaven with him for thy deep suf- 

And on the other side, as they be cursed which leave 
righteousness destitute, and will not suffer therewith ; so are 
they most accursed, which know the truth, and yet not only 
flee therefrom because they will not suffer, but also, for lucre, 
become the most cruel enemies thereof and most subtle per- 
secutors, and most falsely lie thereon also. 

ufyMV"'' Fhially, though God, when he promiseth to bless our 

w. T. 

Most ac- 
cursed, who- 
W. T. 

V. 11, 12,] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 31 

works, do bind us to work if we will obtain the blessing or 
promise ; yet must we beware of this pharisaical pestilence, 
to think that our works did deserve the promises. For 
whatsoever God commandeth us to do, that is our duty to 
do, though there were no such promise made to us at all. 
The promise therefore cometh not of the deserving of the 
worker (as though God had need of aught that we could do), 
but of the pure mercy of God, to make us the more willing 
to do that is our duty, &c. For if, when we had done all 
that God commandeth us to do, he then gave us up into the 
hands of tyrants, and killed us, and sent us to purgatory 
(which men so greatly fear), or to hell, and all the angels of 
heaven with us ; he did us no wrong, nor were unrighteous, 
for aught that we or they could challenge of deserving : how- 
soever that God useth his creatures, he ever abideth righteous; 
till thou canst prove that, after he hath bound himself with 
his own word of mercy, he then breaks promise with them 
that keep covenant with him. So now, if nought were pro- 
mised, nought could we challenge, whatsoever we did. And Not the 
therefore the promise cometh of the goodness of the promisor the'^pure " 
only ; and not of the deserving of those works, of which God is cause of 

11 1 1 1 • 1 1 111*® promise 

hath no need, and which were no less our duty to do, though made unto. 
there were no such promise. 

, Ye be the salt of the earth : but if the salt be waxen unsavoury, what lo. 
can be salted therewith? It is henceforth nothing worth, but to 
be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 

The office of an apostle and true preacher is to salt, not The office of 
only the corrupt manners and conversation of earthly people, preacher. 
but also the rotten heart within, and all that springeth out 
thereof; their natural reason, their will, their understanding 
and wisdom; yea, and their faith and belief, and all that 
they have imagined without God's word concerning righteous- 
ness, justifying, satisfaction and serving of God. And the 
nature of salt is to bite, fret, and make smart. And the sick 
patients of the world are marvellous impatient, so that, though it 


with great pain they can suffer their gross sins to be rebuked |,'''"fp^r'is^^" 
under a fashion, as in a parable afar off ; yet, to have their ^- ^• 
righteousness, their holiness, and serving of God and his 
saints, disallowed, improved, and condemned for damnable 
and devilish, that may they not abide : insomuch that thou 

32 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

must leave thy salting or else be prepared to suffer again ; 
even to be called a railer, seditious, a maker of discord, and a 
troubler of the common peace ; yea, a schismatic, and an 
heretic also ; and to be lied upon, that thou hast done and 
said that thou never thoughtest, and then to be called coram 
nohis^, and to sing a new song, and forswear salting, or else 
to be sent after thy fellows that are gone before, and the 
way thy Master went. 

Salt. True preaching is a salting that stirreth up persecution ; 

Who is meet and an office that no man is meet for, save he that is seasoned 

to salt. _ ' 

w-T. himself before with poverty in spirit, softness, meekness, 

patience, mercifulness, pureness of heart, and hunger of 

righteousness, and looking for persecution also 2; and hath 

all his hope, comfort, and solace, in the blessing only, and 

in no worldly thing. 

vreadieiof '^^1> ^111 some Say, a man might preach long enough 

?»u^tZTL without persecution, yea, and get favour too, if he would not 

ita"ofperst' meddle with the pope, bishops, prelates, and holy ghostly 

eution. people that live in contemplation and solitariness, nor with 

great men of the world. I answer, true preaching is salting ; 

and all that is corrupt must be salted : and those persons 

are of all other most corrupt, and therefore may not be left 


The pope's pardons must be rebuked ; the abuse of the 
mass, of the sacraments, and of all the ceremonies must be 
rebuked and salted. And selling of merits, and of prayers, 
must be salted. The abuse of fasting and of pilgrimage 
must be salted. All idolatry and false faith must be rebuked. 
And those friars that teach men to believe in St Francis' 
coat, how that they shall never come in hell or purgatory, 
if they be buried therein^, may not be passed over with 
Monks, why The paiu and grief of salting made monks flee to their 

they run to tvt / i 

cU)isters. cloistor. Nay (say they), we went thither of pure devotion to 
pray for the people. Yea, but for all that, the more ye in- 
crease, and the more ye multiply your prayers, the worse the 
world is. That is not our fault (say they), but theirs ; that 

[1 Before us : the expression is taken from the old Latin form of a 
magistrate's warrant, summoning the accused.] 
[2 So D., but L. has longing Jbr persecution too.] 
[3 See Vol. I. p. 122, n. 2. J 

V. 13.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 33 

they dispose not themselves, but continue in sin, and so are 
unapt to receive the influence of our prayers. hypocrites ! 
if ye were true salt and had good hearts, and loved your 
neighbours (if dead men be neighbours to them that are ahve), 
and would come out of your dens, and take pain to salt and 
season them, ye should make a great many of them so apt 
that your prayers might take effect. But now seeing, as ye 
say, they be so unsavoury that your prayers be to them un- 
profitable, though their goods be to you profitable, and yet 
ye have no compassion to come out and salt them, it is mani- 
fest that ye love not them, but theirs ; and that ye pray not 
for them, but, under the colour of praying, mock them and 
rob them. 

Finally, salt, which is the true understanding of the law, By salt is 
of faith, and of the intent of all works, hath in you lost her '^e true un- 

, '' derstandmg 

virtue; neither be there any so unsavoury in the world as ^^^'^'^f^?,7,'^jj 
ye are, nor any that so sore kick against true salting as ye : ^°^^' *"^' 
and therefore are ye to be cast out, and trodden under foot, 
and despised of all men, by the righteous judgment of God. 

" If salt have lost his saltness, it is good for nothino; but spiritualty: 

~ why they be 

to be trodden under foot of men." That is, if the preacher, ^p^pijed. 
which for his doctrine is called salt, have lost the nature of 
salt, that is to say, his sharpness in rebuking all unrighteous- 
ness, all natural reason, natural wit and understanding, and 
all trust and confidence in whatsoever it be, save in the blood 
of Christ ; he is condemned of God, and disallowed of all 
them that cleave to the truth. In what case stand they then 
that have benefices and preach not ? Verily, though they 
stand at the altar, yet are they excommunicate and cast out 
of the living church of almighty God. 

And what if the doctrine be not true salt ? Verily then ceremonies 

is it to be trodden under foot : as must all wearish^ and saited. 

w. T. 
unsavoury ceremonies which have lost their significations, and 

not only teach not, and are become unprofitable and do no 
more service to man ; but also have obtained authority as 
God in the heart of man, that man serveth them, and putteth 
in them the trust and confidence that he should put in God 
his maker through Jesus Christ his redeemer. Are the in- 
stitutions of man better than God's ? Yea, are God's ordi- 
nances better now than in the old time ? The prophets trod 
[4 Used by Ascham for sour. Johnson's Diet, weerish.] 
r n 3 


34 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

under foot, and defied the temple of God, and the sacrifices of 
God, and all ceremonies that God had ordained, with fastings 
and prayings, and all that the people perverted and com- 
mitted idolatry with. We have as strait a commandment, 
to salt and rebuke all ungodliness, as had the prophets. Will 
they then have their ceremonies honourably spoken of? Then 
let them restore them to the right use, and put the salt of 
the true meaning and significations of them to them again. 
But as they be now used, none that loveth Christ can speak 
honourably of them. What true - christian man can give 
honour to that that taketh all honour from Christ? Who 
can give honour to that that slayeth the soul of his brother, 
and robbeth his heart of that trust and confidence, which he 
should give to his Lord that hath bought him with his blood ? 

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot he 
hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, 
but on a candlestick, and so giveth it light to all that are in the 
house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see 
your good works, and praise yom* Father that is in heaven. 

Christ goeth forth and describeth the oflftce of an apostle 
and true preacher by another likeness; as he called them 
before the salt of the earth, even so here the light of the 
world : signifying thereby that all the doctrine, all the wis- 
dom, and high knowledge of the world, — whether it were 
philosophy of natural conclusions, of manners and virtue, or 
of laws of righteousness, — whether it were of the holy scrip- 
Aiiknow- ture and of God himself, — was yet but a darkness, until the 
nesf^tnithe doctriue of his apostles came; that is to say, until the know- 
?r*^!]"l''^ ledffe of Christ came, how that he is the sacrifice for our 

blood-shed- o ' 

the^helr" 8^"^^, our Satisfaction, our peace, atonement and redemption, 
^' ^" our life thereto, and resurrection. Whatsoever holiness, wis- 
dom, virtue, perfectness, or righteousness, is in the world 
among men, howsoever perfect and holy they appear ; yet is 
all damnable darkness, except the right knowledge of Christ's 
blood be there first, to justify the heart, before all other 

Another conclusion : As " a city built on a hill cannot be 
hid," no more can the light of Christ's gospel. Let the world 
rage as much as it will, yet it will shine on their sore eyes, 
whether they be content or no. 

y, 14 ]6.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 35 

Another conclusion: As ''men light not a candle to whelm 
it under a bushel, but to put it on a candlestick, to hght all 
that are in the house ;" even so the light of Christ's gospel 
may not be hid, nor made a several thing, as though it per- 
tained to some certain holy persons only. Nay, it is the light 
of the whole world, and pertaineth to all men ; and therefore 
may not be made several. It is a madness that divers men 
say, 'The lay people may not know it :' except they can 
prove that the lay people be not of the world. Moreover it The lay 
will not be hid ; but as the lightning, that breaketh out of th'f gospei!"^^ 
the clouds, shineth over all, even so doth the gospel of Christ. 
For where it is truly received, there it purifieth the heart, 
and maketh the person to consent to the laws of God, and to 
begin a new and godly living, fashioned after God's laws, and 
without all dissimulation : and then it will kindle so great The property 
love in him toward his neighbour, that he shall not only have w. t. 
compassion on him in his bodily adversity, but much more 
pity him over the blindness of his soul, and minister to him 
Christ's gospel. Wherefore if they say, ' It is here or there. The true 

O L e/ t/ ' gospel IS not 

in St Francis's coat, or Dominick's, and such like, and if thou i^|^^ ^" ''^"^• 
wilt put on that coat, thou shalt find it there,' it is false, ifthespin- 
For if it were there, thou shouldest see it shine abroad, iight.^arthey 

ought to 

. they 
ould make 

though thou creepest not into a cell or a monk's cowl, as ^e^ 
thou seest the lightning without creeping into the clouds : yea, 'o^'J^^^tli'^^ 
their hght would so shine that men should not only see the rTc^hf bi^^"^ 
light of the gospel, but also their "good works," which would other poor, 
as fast come out as they now run in ; insomuch that thou selves rlSi. 
shouldest see them make themselves poor, to help other, as 
they now make other poor, to make themselves rich. 

This light and salt pertained not then to the apostles, 
and now to our bishops and spiritualty, only. No ; it per- 
taineth to the temporal men also. For all kings and all Kings ought 
rulers are bound to be salt and light ; not only in example w. t. 
of living, but also in teacliing of doctrine unto their subjects, 
as well as they be bound to punish evil doers. Doth not the 
scripture testify that king David was chosen to be a shepherd, 
and to feed his people with God's word ? It is an evil 
schoolmaster that cannot but beat only : but it is a good 
schoolmaster that so teacheth, that few need to be beaten. 
This salt and light therefore pertain to the temporalty also, 


36 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

and that to every member of Christ's church : so that every 

man ought to be salt and hght to other. 

The order Evory man then may be a common preacher, thou wilt 

man may be gay, Eud proach every where by his own authority. Nay, 

and^ow not. yerily ; no man may yet be a common preacher, save he that 

is called and chosen thereto by the common ordinance of the 

congregation, as long as the preacher teacheth the true word 

of God. But every private man ought to be, in virtuous 

livino;, both hght and salt to his neighbour: insomuch that 

the poorest ought to strive to overrun ^ the bishop, and preach 

to him in ensample of living. Moreover every man ought to 

preach in word and deed unto his household, and to them 

None ought that are under his governance, &c. And though no man 

openly, but mav proach openly, save he that hath the office committed 

such as are t/ i it/' . „ 

thTmcimauQe ""*^ ^^™' 7^^ ought every man to endeavour himself to be 
^egalion"" ^^ "^^^^ Icamod as the preacher, as nigh as it is possible. 
And every man may privately inform his neighbour ; yea, 
and the preacher and bishop too, if need be. For if the 
preacher preach wrong, then may any man, whatsoever he 
be, rebuke him ; first privately, and then, if that help not, to 
complain farther. And when all is proved, according to the 
order of charity, and yet none amendment had, then ought 
every man that can to resist him, and to stand by Christ's 
doctrine, and to jeopard life and all for it. Look on the 
old ensamples and they shall teach thee. 
Spiritual and The gosDel hath another freedom with her than the tem- 

temporal re- ^, ^ 

diffeT"'" l^ovaX regiment. Though every man's body and goods be 
under the king, do he right or wrong, yet is the authority of 
God's word free, and above the king : so that the worst in 
the realm may tell the king, if he do him wrong, that he 
doth naught, and otherwise than God hath commanded him ; 
and so warn him to avoid the wrath of God, which is the 
patient avenger of all unrighteousness. May I then, and 
ought also, to resist father and mother and all temporal 
power with God's word, when they wrongfully do or com- 
mand that hurteth or killeth the body ; and have I no power 
to resist the bishop or preacher, that with false doctrine 
slayeth the souls, for which my master and Lord Christ hath 
shed his blood ? Be we otherwise under our bishops than 
[1 So D., but L. overcome.l 


V. 14 16.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 37 

Christ and his apostles and all the^ prophets were under 
the bishops of the old law ? Nay, verily : and therefore may Acts v. 
we, and also ought to do as they did, and to answer as the 
apostles did, Oportet magis obedire Deo quam hominibus ; Bvery 
" We must rather obey God than men." In the gospel every j^inei„his 
man is Christ's disciple, and a person for himself, to defend °^" person. 
Christ's doctrine in his own person^. The faith of the bishop 
will not help me, nor the bishop's keeping the law is sufficient 
for me. But I must believe in Christ for the remission of 
all sin, for mine ownself, and in mine own person. No more 
is the bishop's or preacher's defending God's word enough 
for me ; but I must defend it in mine own person, and jeo- 
pard life and all thereon when I see need and occasion. 

I am bound to get worldly substance for myself and for 
mine household with my just labour ; and somewhat more 
for them that cannot, to save my neighbour's body : and 
am I not more bound to labour for God's Avord, to have 
thereof in store, to save my neighbour's soul ? And when is 
it so much time to resist with God's word and to help, as 
when they which are believed to minister the true word do 
slay the souls with false doctrine for covetousness' sake? He whosore- 

>J fuseth to die 

that is not ready to give his life for the maintenance of f^^ chnsrs^^ 
Christ's doctrine against hypocrites, with whatsoever name or ofchrt't."^'' 
title they be disguised, the same is not worthy of Christ, 
nor can be Christ's disciple, by the very words and testimony 
of Christ. Nevertheless we must use wisdom, patience, meek- 
ness, and a discreet process, after the due order of charity, in 
our defending the word of God ; lest, while we go about to 
amend our prelates, we make them worse. But when we 
have proved* all that charity bindeth us, and yet in vain ; 
then we must come forth openly, and rebuke their wicked- 
ness in the face of the world, and jeopard life and all 

[2 So L., but D. has the other prophets.'] 

[3 The words person and parson were not yet made two, by the 
adoption of the letter a into the first syllable of the synonyme for a 
Christian minister, as a means of distinguishing between them. Tyn- 
dale has therefore employed the word person here in each sense. At 
one period, in oiu* language, the name of person was given to a rector, 
•when meant to be distinguished from a vicar. Of this examples are 
given in Johnson, Diet.] 

[} That is, tried; as in 1 Sam. xvii. 39.] 

trine causeth 
evil works. 
W. T. 

of go 


Ye shall not think that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: 
noj I am not come to destroy them, but to fulfil them. For truly 
I say unto you, till heaven and earth perish, there shall not one jot 
or one tittle of the law scape, till all be fulfilled. 

A little before Christ calletli his disciples the light of the 
world, and the salt of the earth ; and that because of their 
doctrine, wherewith they should lighten the blind understand- 
ing of man, and with true knowledge drive out the false 
opinions and sophistical persuasions of natural reason, and 
deliver the scripture out of the captivity of false glosses, 
which the hypocritish Pharisees had patched thereto : and so, 
out of the light of true knowledge, to stir up a new living, 
and to salt and season the corrupt manners of the old blind 

False doc- couvorsation. For where false doctrine, corrupt opinions, 
and sophistical glosses, reign in the wit and understanding, 
there is the living devilish in the sight of God, howsoever it 
appear in the sight of the blind world. And on the other 
side, where the doctrine is true and perfect, there followeth 

w- T. godly living of necessity. For out of the inward belief of the 
heart floweth the outward conversation of the members. He 
that believeth that he ought to love his enemy, shall never 
cease fighting against his own self, till he have weeded all 
rancour and malice out of his heart : but he that believeth 
it not, shall put a visor of hypocrisy on his face, till he get 
opportunity to avenge himself. 

And here he beginneth to teach them to be that light 
and that salt of which he spake, and saith: Though the 
scribes and Pharisees bear the people in hand, that all I do 
is of the devil, and accuse me of breaking the law and the 
prophets, (as they afterward railed on the apostles, that they 
drave the people from good works through preaching the 
justifying and righteousness of faith ;) yet see that ye, my 
disciples, be not of that belief. For heaven and earth shall 
sooner perish, than one jot or tittle of the law should be put 
out. I come not to destroy the law, but to repair it only, 
and to make it go upright where it halteth ; and even to 
make crooked straight, and rough smooth, as John the Bap- 
tist doth in the wilderness ; and to teach the true under- 
standing of the law. Without me the law cannot be fulfilled, 

t^thXough ^^^ ^^^^ could. For though the law were given by Moses, 

jesuschrist. yg^ ^YSice and verity, that is to say, the true understanding 

V. 17 19-] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 39 

and power to love it, and of love to fulfil it, cometh and ever 
came through faith in me. 

I do but only wipe away the filthy and rotten glosses 
wherewith the scribes and the Pharisees have smeared^ the law, 
and the prophets ; and rebuke their damnable living, which 
they have fashioned, not after the law of God, but after their 
own sophistical glosses, feigned to mock out the law of God, 
and to beguile the whole world, and to lead them in blindness. 
And that the scribes and Pharisees falsely bely me, how that 
I go about to destroy the law, and to set the people at a 
fleshly liberty, and to make them first disobedient, and to 
despise their spiritual prelates, and then to rise against the 
temporal rulers, and to make all common, and to give hcence 
to sin unpunished ; cometh only of pure malice, hate, envy, 
and furious impatiency, that their visors are plucked from 
their faces, and their hypocrisy discovered. Howbeit what I 
teach, and what my learning is concerning the law, ye shall 
shortly hear, and that in few words. 

Whosoever breaketh one of these least commandments, and teacheth 
men so, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But 
he that doth them and teacheth them, the same shall be great in 
the kingdom of heaven. 

Whosoever studieth to destroy one of the commandments 
following, which are yet the least and but childish things, in 
respect of the perfect doctrine that shall hereafter be shewed, 
and of the mysteries yet hid in Christ ; and teacheth other oiosses. 
men even so, in word or ensample, whether openly or under They that de- 
a colour, and through false glosses of hypocrisy ; that same of God with 

O O t/ r ./ ' glosses must 

doctor shall all they of the kmgdom of heaven abhor and be cast out. 
despise, and cast him out of their company, as a seething-pot 
doth cast up her foam and scum, and purge herself. So fast 
shall they of the kingdom of heaven cleave unto the pure law 
of God, without all men's glosses. 

But whosoever shall first fulfil them himself, and then 
teach other, and set all his study to the furtherance and 
maintaining of them, that doctor shall all they of the king- 
dom of heaven have in price, and follow him and seek him 
out, as doth an eagle her prey, and cleave to him as burrs. 
For these commandments are but the very law of Moses, (the 

[} So D., but L. has which the scribes, &c. have smeared to.] 

40 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

draff of the Pharisees' glosses cleansed out,) interpreted ac- 
cording to the pure word of God, and as the open text com- 
pelleth to understand them, if ye look diligently thereon. 
The church. The kingdom of heaven take for the congregation or 

church of Christ. And to be of the kingdom of heaven is 
to know God for our Father, and Christ for our Lord and 
Saviour from all sin. And to enter into this kingdom it is 
Law. impossible, except the heart of men be to keep the command- 

johnvii. ments of God purely; as it is written, "If any man will obey 
manTov^e his wiU," that is to say, the will of the Father that sent me, 
?anMt''il^'-'^^ saith Christ, " he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of 
doctdSeof^ God, or whether I speak of mine own head." For if thine heart 
w. T.' be to do the will of God, which is his commandments, he will 
give thee a pure eye, both to discern the true doctrine from 
the false, and the true doctor from the howhng hypocrite. 
And therefore he saith, 

The righte- Yov I Say unto you. Except youi- righteousness exceed the righteousness 

Pharisees. of the scribes and Pharisees, ye cannot enter into the kingdom of 

W. T. - - ' ■? s. 


The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees cannot 
enter into the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven 
is the true knowledge of God and Christ : ergo, the righteous- 
ness of the scribes and Pharisees neither knoweth God nor 
Christ. He that is willing to obey the will of God, under- 
standeth the doctrine of Christ, as it is proved above : the 
scribes and the Pharisees understand not the doctrine of 
Christ : ergo, they have no will nor lust to obey the will of 
God. To obey the will of God is to seek the glory of God : 
for the glory of a master is the meek obedience of his ser- 
vants ; the glory of a prince is the humble obedience of his 
subjects ; the glory of an husband is the chaste obedience of 
his wife ; the glory of a father is the loving obedience of his 
children. The scribes and the Pharisees have no lust to 
G'ory- obey the will of God : ergo, they seek not the glory of God. 

l^lkeufhis Furthermore, the scribes and the Pharisees seek their own 
teachlth his g^oi^y • they that seek their own glory, preach their own doc- 
andnot his^' triuo : ergo, the scribes and Pharisees preach their own doctrine, 
masters. rjy^^ major thou hast Matt, xxiii. : the scribes and Pharisees 
• *=""■ (( ^Q Q^i their works to be seen of men : they love to sit upper- 
most at feasts, and to have the chief seats in the synagogues, 

V. 20.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 41 

and salutations in the open markets, and to be called rabbi." 
And the minor followeth the text above rehearsed, " He that John vii. 
speaketh of himself," or of his own head, " seeketh his own 
glory :" that is to say, he that preacheth his own doctrine is 
ever known by seeking his own glory : so that it is a general 
rule to know that a man preacheth his own doctrine, if he 
seek his own glory. 

Some men will haply say, The scribes and Pharisees had 
no other law than Moses and the prophets, nor any other 
scripture ; and grounded their sayings thereon. That is 
truth : how then preached they their own doctrine ? Verily it 
followeth in the said seventh of John : *' He that seeketh the He that 

™ , . , 1 • 1 • 11' seeketh his 

glory of him that sent him, the same is true, and there is no owngiory. 

c5 «/ ... . . altereth his 

unrighteousness in him ;" that is to say, he will do his master's ^gg^gl 
message truly, and not alter it : where contrariwise, he that ^' ^* 
seeketh his own glory, will be false when he is sent, and will 
alter his master's message, to turn his master's glory unto his 
own self. Even so did the scribes and Pharisees alter the word word, 
of God for their own profit and glory. And when God's word ood-s word 

,.,-.,, .r*^ „, altered is not 

is altered with false glosses, it is no more God's word. As ^ ^ord. 

when God saith, " Love thy neighbour,"" and thou puttest to 

thy leaven, and sayest, " If my neighbour do me no hurt, 

nor say me nay, I am bound to love him ; but not to give 

him, at his need, my goods which I have gotten with my sore 

labour ;" now this is thy law, and not God's. God's law is 

pure and single, " Love thy neighbour," whether he be good 

or bad: and by love God meaneth to help at need. Now Toioveisto 

when God biddeth thee to get thy living, and somewhat over w. t. 

to help him that cannot, or at a time hath not wherewith to 

help himself ; if thou, and thirty or forty with thee, get you 

to wilderness, and not only help not your neighbours, but 

also rob a great number of two or three thousand pounds 

yearly, how love ye your neighbours? Such men help the 

■world with prayer, thou wilt say to me. Thou wert better Jf'^PnY" 

to say, ' they rob the world with their hypocrisy,' say I to ho'iplth'iwtf 

thee ; and it is truth indeed that they so do. For if I stick ^" ^' 

up to the middle in the mire, like to perish without present 

help, and thou stand by and wilt not succour me, but kneelest 

down and prayest, will God hear the prayers of such an 

hypocrite ? God biddeth thee so to love me, that thou put 

thyself in jeopardy to help me ; and that thine heart, while 

42 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

thy body laboureth, do pray and trust in God that he will 
assist thee, and through thee to save me. An hypocrite, that 
will put neither body nor goods in peril for to help me at 
my need, loveth me not, neither hath compassion on me ; and 
therefore his heart cannot pray, though he wag his lips never 

John ix. so much. It is written, " If a man be a worshipper of God, 
and do his will," which is the true worship, "him God heareth." 
Now the will of God is, that we love one another, to help at 
need : and such lovers he heareth, and not subtle hypocrites. 
As love maketh thee help me at my need ; so when it is past 

«r^ w'^T ^^^y power to help, it maketh thee pray to God. Even so 
where is no love, to make thee take bodily pain with me, 
there is no love that maketh thee pray for me ; but thy 
prayer is indeed for thy belly, which thou lovest. 

Scribes and What wore the scribes and Pharisees? The scribes, besides 

were^vv^T ^^^ ^^^^ wcro Pharisecs, as I suppose, were also officers; 
as our bishops, chancellors, commissaries, archdeacons, and 
officials. And the Pharisees were religious men^, which had 
professed, not as now, one Dominick's, the other Francis', 
another Bernard's rules, but even to hold the very law of 
God, with prayer, fasting, and alms-deeds ; and were the 
flower and perfection of all the Jews : as St Paul rejoiceth of 

piiii. iii. himself, saying, " I was an Hebrew, and concerning the law a 
Pharisee, and concerning the righteousness of the law I was 
faultless." They were more honourable than any sect of the 
monks with us, whether Observant, or Ancre^ or whatsoever 
other be had in price. 

ThePharisees Those might much better have reioiced to have been the 

inight better ° J 

thexlse\7et^ truo church, and to have had the Spirit of God, and that they 
church! than could uot havc crrcd, than they whom all the world seeth 

our spiritu- 

a^y may. ^ j^gUgj^^g men, Or men of religion, having become equivalent to 

members of some monastic order, Tyndale uses the word here to 
taunt the monks.] 

[2 Ancre, i. e. anchorite t a name derived from the profession of 
retiring entirely out of the world into some solitude. Tria sunt in 
MgjY>to genera monachorum. Primum ccenobitse, quod illi sauses 
gentili lingua vocant, nos in commune viventes possumus appellare. 
Secundum anachorita), quia soli habitant per deserta, et ab eo quod 
procul ab hominibus recesserint, nuncupantur, Tertium genus est, 
quod remoboth dicunt, deterrimum atque neglectum, et quod in nostra 
provincia (the countiy about Bethlehem) aut solum, aut primum est. 
— Hieron. Ep. ad Eustochium. De Oust. Virg.] 

V. 20.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 43 

neither to keep God's laws nor man's, nor yet that devil's law 
of their own making. For God had made them of the old 
testament as great promises, that he would be their God, and 
that his Spirit and all grace should be with them if they kept 
his laws, as he hath made to us. Now seeing they kept the 
uttermost jot of the law, in the sight of the world, and were 
faultless ; and seeing thereto that God hath promised neither The promises 
us nor them aught at all, but upon the profession of keeping; "pon me pro- 

" . . 1 o fessionofthe 

his laws ; whether were more like to be the right church, keeping of 

' o ' the law of 

and to be taught of the Spirit of God that they could not err, fhe'^^' 
those Pharisees or ours? Might not the general councils of ^eep "God""*^ 
those, and the things there decreed without scripture, seem to Ifrom^s^e"th"t 
be of as great authority as the general councils of ours, and enJ w" t" 
the things there ordained and decreed both clean Avithout, and 
also against, God's word ? Might not the ceremonies which 
those had added to the ceremonies of Moses, seem to be as 
holy and well to please God as the ceremonies of ours ? The 
things which they added to the ceremonies of Moses, were of 
the same kind as those ceremonies were ; and no more to be 
rebuked than the ceremonies of Moses : as for an ensample, if 
Moses bade wash a table or dish, when an unclean worm had 
crept thereon, the Pharisees did wash the table with a wet 
clout before every refection, lest any unclean thing had 
touched them unawares to all men, as we put unto our tithes 
a mortuary for all forgotten tithes. What was then the The wicked- 
wickedness of the Pharisees ? Verily the leaven of their Pharisees, 

«' what it was. 

glosses to the moral laws, by which they corrupted the com- w. t. 
mandments, and made them no more God's ; and their false 
faith in the ceremonies, that the bare work was a sacrifice and 
a service to God, the significations lost; and the opinion of 
false righteousness in their prayers, fastings, and alms-deeds, 
that such works did justify a man before God, and not that 
God forgiveth sin of his mere mercy, if a man believe, repent, 
and promise to do his uttermost to sin no more. 

When these thus sat in the hearts of the people, with the 
opinion of virtue, holiness, and righteousness, and their law 
the law of God ; their works, works commanded by God, and 
confirmed by all his prophets, as prayer, fasting, and alms- why the 

JTt/' o' true preacher 

deeds, and they looked upon as the church of God that could 's accused of 

" ^ _ treason and 

not err ; and finally, they themselves either every where h^re|y- 
were the chief rulers, or so sat in the hearts of the rulers, 

44 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

that their word was believed to be the word of God ; what 
other thing could it be, to preach against all such, and to 
condemn their righteousness for the most damnable sin that 
can be, than to seem to go about to destroy the law and the 
Why hypo- prophets? What other thing can such a preacher seem to 
first rebuked, be, boforo the blind world, than an heretic, schismatic, sedi- 

though It be 

pTeaci?^'" tious, possossod With the devil, and worthy of shame most 
against it ^jjg ^j^^ death most cruel ? And yet these must be first re- 
buked, and their false righteousness detected, ere thou mayest 
preach against open sinners. Or else, if thou shouldest con- 
vert an open sinner from his evil living, thou shouldest make 
him nine hundred times worse than before : for he would 
at once be one of these sort, even an Observant, or of some 
like sect, of which, among an hundred thousand, thou shalt 
never bring one to believe in Christ ; where among open 
sinners many believe at the hour of death, fall flat upon 
Christ, and believe in him only, without all other righteous- 
ness. It were an hundred thousand times better never to 
pray, than to pray such lip-prayers; and never to fast or 
do alms, than to fast, and to do alms, with a mind thereby 
to be made righteous, and to make satisfaction for the fore 

Ye have heard liow that it was said to them of old time, Kill not, for 
whosoever killeth shall be in danger of judgment. But I say unto 
you, Whosoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of 
judgment: and whosoever saith unto his brother Racha, shall be 
in danger of a council : but whosoever saith to his brother, Thou 
fool, shall be in danger of hell fii-e. 

The^iawis Here Christ beginneth, not to destroy the law (as the 

w. T. Pharisees had falsely accused him), but to restore it again to 
the right understanding, and to purge it from the glosses of 
the Pharisees. He that slayeth shall be guilty, or in danger 
of judgment : that is to say, if a man murder, his deed testi- 
fieth against him ; there is no more to do than to pronounce 
The Pharisees sentence of death against him. This text did the Pharisees 

did extend '-' 

theirdoin^s extcud no farther than to kill with the hand and outward 

or acts to the 

X'wor'^dced members : but hate, envy, malice, churlishness, and to with- 

tothe°hei"f. draw help at need, to beguile and circumvent with wiles and 

subtle bargaining, was no sin at all. No ; to bring him whom 

thou hatest to death with craft and falsehood, so thou didst 

V. SI, 22.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 45 

not put thine hand thereto, was no sin at all : as when they 
had brought Christ to death wrongfully, and compelled Pilate 
with subtil ty to slay him, they thought themselves pure ; in- 
somuch that they would not go into the hall, for defiUng 
themselves, and being partakers with Pilate in his blood. 
And they said to the apostles, "Ye would bring this man's Acts v. 
blood upon us :" as who would say, we slew him not. And 
Saul (in the first book of the Kings in the eighteenth chapter), i sim. xviu. 
being so wrath with David that he would gladly have had 
him slain, determined yet that he would not defile himself; 
but to thrust him into the hands of the Philistines, that they 
might slay him, and he himself abide pure. And as our 
spiritualty now oifer a man mercy once, though he have 
spoken against holy church ; only if he will but perjure, 
and bear a fagot : but if he will not, they do but diet him 
a season, to win him, and make him tell more; and deliver 
him to the lay power, saying, He hath deserved death by 
our laws, and ye ought to kill him, howbeit we desire it 

But Christ restoreth the law again ; and saith, to be oodgo'lth^as 
angry with thy neighbour is to slay him, and to deserve hMl-°^'the 
death. For the law goeth as well on the heart as on the ^^'^^' 
hand. "He that hateth his brother is a murderer." If then uohnm. 
the blind hand deserve death, how much more those parts 
which have the sight of reason! And he that saith Racha^ ^^•=''*' 
' Lewd,' or whatsoever sign of wrath it be, or that provoketh 
to wrath, hath not only deserved that men should immediately 
pronounce sentence of death upon him ; but also that, when 
death is pronounced, they should gather a council, to decree 
what horrible death he should suffer. And he that calleth 
his brother fool hath sinned down to hell. 

Shall then a man not be angry at all, nor rebuke or ^°^beTngry 
punish ? Yes, if thou be a father or a mother, master or ^ng.°"w.' t. 
mistress, husband, lord, or ruler ; yet with love and mercy, 
that the anger, rebuke, or punishment, exceed not the fault 
or trespass. May a man be angry with love ? Yea, mothers 
can be so with their children. It is a loving anger, that 
hateth only the vice, and studieth to mend the person. But 

V- ' np^'l Raka ; a word expressive of the greatest contempt ; very- 
much used by the rabbinical writers, and very common in the mouth 
of their people.'— Lightfoot Hor. Hebr. in Matt. v. 22.] 

46 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

here is forbidden not only wrath against father, mother, and 
all that have governance over thee, which is to be angry, and 
to grudge against God himself, and that the ruler shall not 
be wrath without a cause against the subject ; but also all 
private wrath against thy neighbour, over whom thou hast 
no rule, nor he over thee, no, though he do thee wrong. 
For he that doth wrong lacketh wit and discretion ; and 
cannot amend, till he be informed and taught lovingly. 
Therefore thou must refrain thy wrath, and tell him his 
fault lovingly, and with kindness win him to thy Father : 
for he is thy brother, as well made and as dear bought 
as thou, and as well beloved, though he be yet childish and 
lack discretion. 
Love is the But somo will say, I will not hate my neighbour, nor 

keeping of ii- ^ -kt ^ ^ ' 

the law. yet lovc him or do him good. Yes, thou must love him : for 
the first commandment, out of which all other flow, is, " Thou 
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with all 
thy soul, and with all thy might :" that is, thou must keep 
all his commandments with love. Love must keep thee from 
kilhng or hurting thy neighbour, and from coveting in thine 

ijohnjv. heart whatsoever is his. And "this commandment have we 
of him, that he which loveth God love his brother also." 

1 John iii. And again, " He that hath the substance of this world, and seeth 
his brother have necessity, and shutteth up his compassion 
from him, how is the love of God in him ? " He then that 
hclpeth not at need, loveth not God, but breaketh the first 
commandment. " Let us love," therefore, saith St John, " not 
with word and tongue, but in deed and truth." And again, 
St John saith in the said place, " He that loveth not his bro- 
ther abideth yet still in death." And of love hath Moses 
texts enough : but the Pharisees glossed them out, saying, 
they were but good counsels, if a man desired to be perfect, 

Exod. xxiii. but not precepts. " If thou meet thine enemy's ox or ass 
going astray, thou shalt in any wise bring them to him 
again." And, " If thou see thine enemy's ass fall down under 

Lev. xix. his burden, thou shalt help him up again." And, " Thou shalt 

«h IJ'ouo^'''' not hate thy brother in thine heart, but shalt in any wise 

fiTrt"mu"t rebuke thy neighbour, that thou bear no sin for his sake^" 

suffer with 
them when 
they be 

vmnisheci. [1 The autliorisecl version has, * that thou bear not sin for him,' in 

its margin.] 

V. 21, 22.] MATTHEW V. VI, VII. 47 

For if thou study not to amend thy neighbour, when he sin- 
neth, so art thou partaker of his sins ; and therefore, when 
God taketh vengeance and sendeth whatsoever plague it be, 
to punish open sinners, thou must perish with them. For 
thou didst sin in the sight of God as deep as they ; because 
thou didst not love the law of God, to maintain it with all 
thine heart, soul, power, and might. Is not he that seeth 
his neighbour's house in jeopardy to be set on fire, and 
warneth not, nor helpeth in time, to avoid the peril, worthy 
(if his neighbour's house be burnt up) that his be burnt also ; 
seeing it was in his power to have kept all out of jeopardy, 
if he had would ; as he would, no doubt, if he had loved his 
neighbour? Even so, when God sendeth a general pestilence in doing our 

. . best to fur- 

or war to thy city, to punish the sin thereof ; art thou not ther our 

worthy that thine house should be infected or perish, if thou "\y'>^t"'', 

J ^ ^ r ' (although we 

mightest have kept it from sinning, and thou hadst been l-^^ar" ex°-'' 
willing thereto ? But if thou do thy best to further the law ''"'^'** 
of God, and to keep thy land or neighbours from sinning 
against God ; then (though it help not) thou shalt bear no sin 
for their sakes when they be punished. He therefore that 
loveth the law of God, may be bold in time of pestilence and 
all jeopardy to believe in God. And again in the same place, 
" Thou shalt not avenge thyself, nor bear hate in mind against 
the children of thy people ; but shalt love thy fellow as thy- 
self. I am the Lord." As who should say, For my sake 
shalt thou do it. And, "The Lord your God is the God of Deut.x. 
gods and Lord of lords, a great God, mighty and terrible, 
which regardeth no man's person or degree, nor taketh gifts ; 
but doth right to the fatherless and the widow, and loveth 
the stranger, to give him raiment and food. Love therefore 
the stranger, for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt." 
And, " If a stranger sojourn by thee in your land, see that ye Lev. xix. 
vex him not. But let the stranger, that dwelleth among you, 
be as one of yourselves, and love him as thyself: for ye were 
strangers in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord." As who 
should say. Love him for my sake. 

Notwithstanding, when thy neighbour hath shewed thee 
more unkindness than God hath love, then mayest thou hate 
him, and not before ; but must love him for God's sake, till when a man 
he fight against God, to destroy the name and glory of "elghbour.'^ 
God. ^-^- 

48 . EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

Therefore when thou offerest thy gift at the altar, and there remem- 
berest that thy brother hath aught against thee ; leave there thy 
gift before the altar, and go first and reconcile thyself unto thy 
brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine ad- 
versary at once, while thou art in the way with him ; lest thine 
adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to 
the minister, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, 
thou shalt not come out thence, till thou have paid the uttermost 

This text, with the similitude, is somewhat subtle ; and 

bindeth both him that hath offended to reconcile himself as 

much as in him is, and him that is offended to forgive and be 

Offerings or at oue. The offerings were signs, and did certify a man that 

what they God was at oue with him, and was his friend and loved him. 


w. T. Yor the fat of beasts was offered, and wine thereto, as though 

God had sat and eaten and drunk with them ; and the rest 
they and their households did eat before God, as though they 
had ate and drunk with God ; and were commanded to be 
merry and to make good cheer, fully certified that God was 
at one with them, and had forgot all old offences, and now 
loved them, that he would fulfil all his promises of mercy 
with them. 

Now will God receive no sacrifice (that is to wit, neither 
forgive, nor fulfil any of his promises), except we be first re- 
conciled unto our brethren, whether we have offended or be 

Matt. vi. offended. In the chapter following thou readest, " If ye for- 

Hos. vi. give, your Father shall forgive you." And, Hos. vi. " I love 
mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than 
I do burnt offerings : " that is to say, the knowledge of the 
appointments made between God and us ; what he will have 
us to do first, and then what he will do for us again. And 

isai.iviii. God refuseth fasting, and punishing of the body, that was 
coupled with cruelty, and saith, that he desired no such fast ; 

The fast that but saith, Tliis fast require I, that ye be merciful and for- 

God requir- i ' «/ 

eih. give, and clothe the naked, and feed the hungry, &c. " Then 

call (saith he), and the Lord shall answer : cry, and he shall 
say, See, here I am." 

And that similitude will, that as a man here, if he will 
no otherwise agree, must suffer the extremity of the law, if 
he be brought before a judge, (for the judge hath no power 
to forgive or to remit, but to condemn him in the uttermost 

V. 23 26.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 49 

of the law ;) even so, if we will not forgive one another here, 
we shall have judgment of God without ail mercy. 

And that some make purgatory of the last farthing, they t^tfarthing. 
shew their deep ignorance. For first, no similitude holdeth 
every word and syllable of the similitude. Furthermore, 
"when they dispute, Till he pay the last farthing ; ergo, he 
shall pay : but not in hell ; ergo, in purgatory : a wise 
reason ! Joseph knew not Mary till she had borne her first 
son ; ergo, she bare the second ; or, he knew her after. I will 
not forgive thee till I be dead or while I Hve ; ergo, I will do 
it after my death : and a thousand like. 

Ye have heard how it was said to them of old time. Commit not 
adultery. But I say to you, that whosoever looketh on a wife, 
lusting after her, hath committed advoutry with her already in his 

This commandment, * Commit none adultery,' had the how cor- 
Pharisees blinded and corrupt with their sophistry and leaven, ^^if^^^^^^l^ 
interpretmg the concupiscence of the heart, lewd toys, filthy ^egjj'oni'y. 
gestures, unclean words, clipping, kissing, and so forth, not to 
be imputed for sin ; but even the act and deed alone : though 
Moses say in the text, ' Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's 
wife,' &c. But Christ putteth to light and salt ; and bring- 
eth the precept to his true understanding and natural taste ^ 
again ; and condemneth the root of sin, the concupiscence 
and consent of the heart. Before the world I am no mur- 
derer, till I have killed with mine hand : but before God I 
kill, if I hate ; yea, if I love not, and of love keep me both 
from doing hurt, and also be ready and prepared to help at 
need. Even so the consent of the heart, with all other 
means that follow thereof, be as well advoutry before God 
as the deed itself. 

Finally, I am an advouterer before God, if I so love not 
my neighbour, that very love forbid me to covet his wife. 
"Love is the fulfilling of all commandments." And without Love is the 

, ... Ml 1 • /. • • • fulfilling of 

love it IS impossible to abstain from sinning against my the jaw. 
neighbour in any precept, if occasion be given. 

Carnal love will not suffer a mother to rob her child ; no, 
it maketh her rob herself to make it rich. A natural father 
shall never lust after his son's wife ; no, he careth more for 

[1 So L., but D. has cast.] 
[tyndale, II.] 




Some doctors 
have doubted 
in that 
which Christ 
hath flatly 

1 Cor. vi. 

her chastity than his son doth himself. Even so would love 
to my neighbour keep me from sinning against him. 

Advoutry is a damnable thing in the sight of God, and 
much mischief foUoweth thereof. David, to save his honour, 
was driven to commit grievous murder also. It is unright, 
in the sight of God and man, that thy child should be at an- 
other man's cost, and be another man's heir : neither canst 
thou or the mother have lightly a quiet conscience to God, or 
a merry heart, as long as it so is. Moreover what greater 
shame canst thou do thy neighbour, or what greater displea- 
sure ? What if it never be known, nor come any child 
thereof? The preciousest gift that a man hath of God in 
this world is the true heart of his wife, to abide by him in 
wealth and woe, and to bear all fortunes with him. Of that 
hast thou robbed him ; for after she hath once coupled her- 
self to thee, she shall not lightly love him any more so truly ; 
but haply hate him, and procure his death. Moreover thou 
hast untaught her to fear God, and hast made her to sin 
against God ; for to God promised she, and not to man 
only ; for the law of matrimony is God's ordinance. For it 
is written, when Potiphar's wife would have Joseph to lie 
with her, he answered : " How could I do this wickedness and 
sin against God ?" Yea, verily ; it is impossible to sin against 
man, except thou sin against God first. Finally, read chro- 
nicles and stories, and see what hath followed of adultery. 

What shall we say, that some doctors have disputed and 
doubted whether single fornication should be sin, when it is 
condemned both by Christ and Moses too ? And Paul testi- 
fieth, that no fornicator, or whorekeeper, shall possess the 
kingdom of God. It is right that all men, that hope in God, 
should bring up their fruit in the fear and knowledge of God; 
and not to leave his seed where he careth not what come 

Wherefore if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from 
thee : for it is better for thee that one of thy members perish, than 
that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And even so if thy 
right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee. For it is 
better for thee that one of thy members perish, than that thy 
whole body should be cast into hell. 

This is not meant of the outward members. For then 
we must cut off nose, ears, hand and foot ; yea, we must 

V. 29, 30.] MATTHEW V. VI, VII. 51 

procure to destroy the seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and 
feeling, and so every man kill himself. But it is a phrase or 
speech of the Hebrew tongue, and will that we cut off occa- 
sions, dancing, kissing, riotous eating and drinking, and the 
lust of the heart, and filthy imaginations, that move a man to Fiithy. 
concupiscence. Let every man have his wife, and think her 
the fairest and the best-conditioned, and every woman her 
husband so too. For God hath blessed thy wife, and made a wife, how 

,., , , .„ Rood a. thing. 

her without sm to thee, which ought to seem a beautiful w. t. 
fairness. And all that ye suffer together, the one with the 
other, is blessed also, and made the very cross of Christ, and 
pleasant in the sight of God. Why should she then be 
loathsome to thee, because of a little suffering, that thou 
shouldest lust after another, that should defile thy soul, and 
slay thy conscience, and make thee suffer everlastingly ? 

It is said, whosoever puttetli away his wife, let him give her a testi- 
monial of the divorcement. But I say unto you, whosoever putteth 
away his wife (except it be for fornication) maketh her to break 
wedlock ; and whosoever marrieth the divorced, breaketh wedlock. 

Moses permitted his Israelites in extreme necessity, as oeut. xxiv 
when they so hated their wives that they abhorred the com- 
pany of them, then to put them away, to avoid a worse 
inconvenience ; whereof ye read also Matt. xix. And he Matt. xix. 
knit thereto, that they might not receive them again, after 
they had been known of any other persons. Which licence 
the Jews abused, and put away their wives for every light or 
feigned cause, and whensoever they lusted. But Christ 
calleth back again, and interpreteth the law after the first 
ordinance, and cutteth off all causes of divorcement, save 
fornication of the wife's party, when she breaketh her matri- 
mony ; in which case ]\Ioses''s law pronounceth her dead, and 
so do the laws of many other countries : which laws, where 
they be used, there is a man free without all question. Now 
where they be let live, there the man (if he see sign of re- 
pentance and amendment) may forgive for once. If he may 
not find in his heart (as Joseph, as holy as he was, could not 
find in his heart to take Christ's mother to him, when he 
spied her with child), he is free no doubt to take another, 
while the law interpreteth her dead : for her sin ought of no 
right to bind him. 


52 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

What shall the woman do, if she repent and be so tempted 
in her flesh that she cannot hve chaste ? Verily I can shew 
The office of you nothing out of the scripture. The office of the preacher 
w. T. ■ is, to preach the ten commandments, which are the law natural ; 
and to promise them which submit themselves to keep them, 
of love and fear of God, everlasting life for their labour 
through faith in Christ ; and to threaten the disobedient with 
everlasting pain in hell. And his^ punishment is, if any man 
have oifended through frailty, and when he is rebuked turn 
and repent, to receive him unto grace, and absolve him ; and 
if any man will not amend when he is rebuked, to cast him 
out among the infidels. This I say, if the temporal power 
shut her up as a convict person, appointing her a sober hving, 
to make satisfaction to the congregation for her damnable ex- 
ample, they did not amiss. It is better that one misdoer 
suffer, than that a commonwealth be corrupt. 

Where the officers be negligent, and the woman not able 
to put herself to penance, if she went where she is not known, 
and there marry, God is the God of mercy. If any man in 
the same place where she trespasseth pitied her, and married 
her, I could suffer it ; were it not that the liberty would be 
the next way to provoke all other that were once weary of 
their husbands to commit adultery, for to be divorced from 
them, that they might marry other which they loved better. 
Let the temporal sword take heed to their charge therefore. 
For this is truth : all the temporal blessings set in the law of 
What follow- Moses for keeping their laws, as wealth and prosperity, 
ingof^hr^ long life, the upper hand of their enemies, plenteousness of 
fruits, and cheap of all things, and to be without pestilence, 
war and famishment, and all manner other abominable 
diseases and plagues, pertain to us as well as to them, if we 
keep our temporal laws. 

And all the curses and terrible plagues which are threa- 

whatfoi- tened throughout the law of Moses, as hunger, dearth, war 

b°rrakingof and disscnsion, pestilence, fevers, and wonderful and strange 

w.f. fearful diseases, as the sweat, plague, and falhng sickness, 

shortening of days, that the sword, hunger, and such diseases 

shall eat them up in their youth, that their enemies should 

have the upper hand, that the people of the land should be 

minished, and the towns decayed, and the land brought unto 

[1 So D., but L. this.] 

V. 31, 32,] MATTHEW V. VI. VIT. 53 

a wilderness, and that a plenteous land should be made barren, 
or so ordered that dearth should devour the inhabiters, and 
wealth be among few that should oppress the rest, with a 
thousand such like, so that nothing they begin should have a 
prosperous end ; all those curses (I say) pertain to us as well 
as to them, if we break our temporal laws. 

Let England look about them, and mark what hath 
chanced them, since they slew their right king whom God Theenormi- 
had anomted over them, king Richard the Second. Their chanced 

o since the 

people, towns, and villages are minished by the third part ; king mchafd 
and of their noble blood remaineth not the third, nor I believe [."JftdX"'^ 
the sixth, yea, and if I durst be bold, I wene I might safely Eng'i"nd. 
swear that there remaineth not the sixteenth part. Their 
own sword hath eaten them up. And though pastures be 
enlarged above all measure, yet rot of sheep, murrain of 
beasts, with parks and warrens, with raising of fines and 
rent, make all things twice so dear as they were. And our 
own commodities are so abused, that they be the destruction 
of our own realm. 

And right : for if we will not know God to keep his laws. Tyrants.- why 
how should God know us, to keep us, and to care for us, and up, a^dieav* 
to fulfil his promises of mercy unto us ? Saith not Paul, i^ands of 

f^ J ' tyrants and 

(Rom. i.) of the heathen, Sicut non probaverunt habere i^j^au misery. 

Deum in notitia, ita tradidit illos Dens ; As it seemed them ^°™- '• 

not good, or as they had no lust, or as they admitted it not, 

nor allowed for right in their hearts to know God as God, to 

give him the honour of God, that is, to fear him as God, and 

as avenger of all evil, and to seek his will ; even so God gave 

them up to follow their own blindness ; and took his Spirit 

and his grace from them, and would no longer rule their wits? 

Even so if we cast oif us the yoke of our temporal laws, which 

are the laws of God, and drawn out of the ten commandments 

and law natural, and out of "Love thy neighbour as thyself;" 

God shall cast us off and let us slip, to follow our own wit. 

And then shall all go against us, whatsoever we take in hand : 

insomuch that when we gather a parhament to reform or 

amend aught, that we there determine shall be our own 

snare, confusion, and utter destruction, so that all the enemies 

we have under heaven could not wish us so great mischief 

as our own counsel shall do us ; God shall so blind the wisdom 

of the wise. If any man have any godly counsel, it shall 




What rulers 
ought to do, 
such as run 
and fly from 
their wives 
without just 

have none audience : error, madness, and dasing ^ shall have 
the upper hand. 

And let the spiritualty take heed and look well about 
them, and see whether they walk as they have promised God, 
and in the steps of his Son Christ, and of his apostles, whose 
offices they bear. For I promise them, all the devils in hell, 
if God had let them loose, could not have given them worse 
counsel than they have given themselves this twenty year 
long. God gave up his Israelites oftentime, when they would 
not be ruled, nor know themselves and their duty to God; 
and brought them into captivity under their enemies, to prove 
and feel (saitli the text) whether were better service, either 
to serve God, and willingly to obey his law coupled with so 
manifold blessings ; or to serve their enemies, and to obey 
their cruelness and tyranny (spite of their heads) in need and 
necessity. And let the temporalty remember, that because 
those nations, under which the Isralites were in captivity, did 
deal cruelly with them, not to punish them for their idolatry 
and sin, which they had committed against God, but to have 
their lands, and goods, and service only, rejoicing to make 
them worse and more out of their Father's favour ; therefore 
when God had scourged his children enough, he did beat the 
other for their labour. 

But to our purpose : what if the man run from his wife 
and leave her desolate ? Verily, the rulers ought to make a 
law, if any do so and come not again by a certain day, as 
within the space of a year or so, that then he be banished the 
country ; and if he come again, to come on his head, and let 
the wife be free to marry where she will. For what right is 
it that a lewd wretch should take his goods, and run from his 
wife without a cause, and sit by a whore, yea, and come again 
after a year or two (as I 'have known it) and rob his wife of 
that she hath gotten in the mean time, and go again to his 
whore ? Paul saith to the Corinthians, that if a man or 
woman be coupled with an infidel, and the infidel depart, 
the other is free to marry where they lust. And he saith : 
" If there be any man that provideth not for his, and 
namely for them of his own household, the same denieth 
the faith, and is worse than an infidel." And even so is this 
man much more to be interpreted for an infidel, that causeless 
[1 So D., but L. daunsyng.l 

V. 31, 32.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 55 

runneth from his wife. Let, I say, the governors take heed 
how they let sin be unpunished, and how they bring the 
wrath of God upon their realms. For God will be avenged 
of all iniquity, and punish it with plagues from heaven. 

In like manner, if the woman depart causeless and will 
not be reconciled, though she commit none adultery, the man 
ought of right to be free to marry agam. And in all other 
causes, if they separate themselves of impatience that the one 
cannot suffer the other's infirmities, they must remain un- 

If any part burn, let the same suffer the pain or infirmities 
of the other. And the temporal ty ought to make laws to 
bridle the unruly party. 

Again, ye have heard how it was said to them of old time, foreswear 
not thyself, but pay thine oaths unto the Lord. But I say unto 
you, swear not at all, neither by heaven, for it is the seat of God ; 
neither by the earth, for it is his footstool ; neither by Jerusalem, 
for it is the city of the great king ; neither shalt thou swear by thine 
head, for thou canst not make a white hair or a black. But your 
communication shall be, Yea, yea, nay, nay. For if aught be above 
that, it proceedeth of evil. 

As to hate in the heart, or to covet another man's wife, swearing. 

. . . W. T. 

was no sin with the Pharisees ; no more was it to hide one 
thing in the heart, and to speak another with the mouth, to 
deceive a man's neighbour, if it were not bound with an 
oath. And though Moses say, ' Lie not, nor deceive any Levit. xix. 
man his neighbour' or one another ; yet they interpreted 
it but good counsel, if a man desired to be perfect ; but no 
precept, to bind under pain of sin : and so by that means, 
not only they that spake true, but also they that lied to 
deceive, were compelled to swear and to confirm their words 
with oaths, if they would be believed. 

But Christ bringeth light and salt to the text, which the 
Pharisees had darkened and corrupt with the stinking mist of 
their sophistry, and forbiddeth to swear at all, either by God 
or any creature of God's ; for thou canst swear by none other to s_wear 
at all, except the dishonour shall redound unto the name of w. t. 
God. If thou swear * By God it is so,' or ' By God I will 
do this or that;' the meaning is, that thou makest God judge, 
to avenge it of thee, if it be not as thou sayest, or if thou 
shalt not do as thou promisest. Now if truth be not in thy 

56 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

words, thou shamest thine heavenly Father, and testifiest that 
thou behevest that he is no righteous judge, nor will avenge 
unrighteousness ; but that he is wicked as thou art, and con- 
senteth and laugheth at thee, while thou deceivest thy 
brother, as well created after the likeness of God, and as 
dear bought with the precious blood of Christ, as thou. And 
thus through thee, a wicked son, is the name of thy Father 
dishonoured, and his law not feared, nor his promises be- 
lieved. And when thou swearest by the gospel book, or 
bible, the meaning is, that God, if thou lie, shall not fulfil 
unto thee the promises of mercy therein written ; but con- 
trariwise to bring unto thee all the curses, plagues and ven- 
geance therein threatened unto the disobedient and evil doers. 
Men ought And evcH SO when thou swearest by any creature, as by 
words^mly ^rcad Or salt, the meaning is, that thou desirest, that the 
wuhout'any croator thereof shall avenge it of thee, if thou lie, &c. Where- 
oaihs. ^Qj^g Q^j, dealing ought to be so substantial, that our words 

might be believed without an oath. Our words are the signs 
of the truth of our hearts, in which ought to be pure and 
single love toward thy brother ; for whatsoever proceedeth 
not of love is damnable. Now falsehood to deceive him, and 
pure love, cannot stand together. It cannot therefore be but 
damnable sin to deceive thy brother with lying, though thou 
add no oath to thy words. Much more damnable is it then 
to deceive, and to add an oath thereto, &c. 
Swearing, in Howbeit all manner of swearing is not here forbidden, no 

is lawful. more than all manner of kilhng, when the commandment saith, 
"^ Kill not ;" for judges and rulers must kill. Even so ought 
they, when they put any man in office, to take an oath of him 
that he shall be true and faithful and diligent therein ; and 
of their subjects it is lawful to take oaths, and of all that offer 
themselves to bear witness. But if the superior would compel 
the inferior to swear that [which] should be to the dishonour 
of God, or hurting of an innocent, the inferior ought rather to 
die than to swear : neither ought a judge to compel a man 
to swear against himself, that he make him not sin and for- 
swear ; whereof it is enough spoken in another place. But 
here is forbidden swearing between neighbour aud neighbour, 
and in all our private business and daily communication. For 
customable swearing, though we lied not, doth rob the name of 
God of his due reverence and fear. And in our daily commu- 

deratetti the 


W. T. 

V. 33 37.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 57 

nicatlon and business one with the other is so much vanity of 
words, that we cannot but in many things lie ; which to confirm 
with an oath, though we beguile not, is to take the name of 
God in vain, and unreverently, against the second precept. 
Now to lie for the intent to beguile is damnable of itself : how 
much more then to abuse the holy name of God thereto, and 
to call to God for vengeance upon thine own self! 

Many cases yet there chance daily between man and man, charity mo- 
in which charity compelleth to swear: as if I know that my 
neighbour is falsely slandered, I am bound to report the truth, 
and may lawfully swear, yea, and am bound if it need, and 
that though not before a judge. And unto the weak, where 
yea and nay have lost their credence through the multitude of 
liars, a man may lawfully swear to put them out of doubt : oath. 
which yet cometh of the evil of them that abuse their lan- 
guage to deceive withal. Finally, to swear to do evil is to perform 
damnable ; and to perform that is double damnation. Herod's ^"doubre%in. 

. W. T. 

oath made him not innocent and guiltless of the death of John 
the baptist ; though the hypocrite had not known what his 
wife's daughter would have asked. And when men say a 
king's word must stand ; that is truth, if his oath or promise 
be lawful and expedient. 

In all our promises it is to be added, " If God will," and, 
" If there be no lawful let." And though it be not added, it 
is to be interpreted, as added. As if I borrow thy sword, and 
by the hour I promise to bring it thee again, thou be beside 
thyself : if I promise to pay by a certain day, and be in the 
mean time robbed or decayed by chance, that I cannot per- 
form it; I am not forsworn if mine heart meant truly when He is not 
I promised. And many like cases there be, of which are wroTe^hlart 
touched in other places. To lie also, and to dissemble, is not when he 
alway sin. David told king Achish, the Philistine, that he Toiieordis- 
had robbed his own people the Jews, when he had been a some causes 
roving among the Amalekites, and had slain man, woman, and i sam.xxvil" 
child for teUing tales ; and yet was that lie no more sin, than 
it was to destroy the Amalekites, those deadly enemies of the 
faith of one almighty God. Neither sinned Hushai, David's 2 sam. xvii. 
trusty friend, in feigning and beguihng Absalom, but pleased 
God highly. To bear a sick man in hand that wholesome 
bitter medicine is sweet, to make him drink it, it is the duty 
of charity, and no sin. To persuade him that pursueth his 

58 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

neighbour to hurt him or slay him, that his neighbour is gone 
another contrary way, is the duty of every Christian man by 
the law of charity, and no sin ; no, though I confirmed it with 
an oath^ But to lie for to deceive and hurt, that is damnable 
only, &c. 

Ye have heard, how it is said, An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. 
But I say unto you, that ye withstand not wrong. But if a man 
give thee a blow on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 
And if any man will go to law with thee and take away thy coat, let 
him have thy cloak thereto. And if any man compel thee to go a 
mile, go with liim twain. Give to him that asketh, and from him 
that would borrow turn not away. 

Christ here intended not to disannul the temporal regi- 
ment, and to forbid rulers to punish evil doers, no more than 
he meant to destroy matrimony when he forbade to lust and 
to covet another man's wife in the^ heart. But as he there 
forbade that which defileth matrimony, even so he forbiddeth 
here that which troubleth, unquieteth, and destroyeth the tem- 
poral regiment, and that thing which to forbid the temporal 
regiment was ordained ; which is, that no man avenge himself. 
Christ meddleth not with the temporal regiment; but in all 
this long sermon fighteth against the Pharisees' false doctrine, 
and salteth the law, to purge it of the corruption of their filthy 
glosses, and to bring it unto the right taste and true under- 
standing again. 

For the Pharisees had so interpreted that law of Moses, 
which pertained only unto the rulers, that every private per- 
son might avenge himself, and do his adversary as much harm 
again as he had received of him. 

Now if he that is angry have deserved that men pronounce 
death upon him ; and he that saith Pacha, hath deserved that 
men should gather a council to determine some sundry and 
cruel death for so heinous a crime ; and if he that calleth his 
brother fool have deserved hell, what deserveth he that smiteth 
or avengeth himself with his own hand ? Here is forbidden 
therefore private wrath only, and that a man avenge himself. 
To turn the To tum the othor cheek, is a manner of speaking, and 

what it is. ' not to be understood as the words sound ; as was to cut off 

[1 The apostle says that they who should say, 'Let us do evil, that 
good may come,' would justly be condemned.] 
[2 So D., but L. thy ] 

V. 38 42.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 59 

the hand, and to phick out the eye ; and as we command 

our children not only not to come nigh a brook or water, 

but also not so hardy as once to look that way, either to look 

on fire, or once to think on fire ; which are impossible to be 

observed. More is spoken than meant, to fear them ; and to 

make them perceive that it is earnest that we command. 

Even so is the meaning here, that we in no wise avenge ; but 

be prepared ever to suffer as much more, and never to think 

it lawful to avenge, how great soever the injury be : for he 

himself turned not the other cheek, when he was smitten 

before the bishop ; nor yet Paul, when he was buffeted 

before the bishop also. But ye have had a little above, 

" Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth.'' Meekness. 

Let all the world study to do thee wrong, yea, let them do 

thee wrong ; and yet if thou be meek, thou shalt have food 

and raiment enough for thee and thine. And moreover, if 

the worst come, God shall yet set such a tyrant over thee, 

that (if thou be meek and canst be content that he poll thee 

properly, and even as thou mayest bear) shall defend thee 

from all other. Who is polled intolerably, that his hfe is Poinng, how 

bitter and even death to him, but he that is impatient and w. t. 

cannot suffer to be polled ? Yea, poll thyself and prevent 

other ; and give the baihff or like ofiicer now a capon, now a 

pig, now a goose, and so to thy landlord likewise ; or if thou 

have a great farm, now a lamb, now a calf; and let thy wife 

visit thy landlady three or four times in the year with spiced 

cakes, and apples, pears, cherries, and such like. And be 

thou ready with thine oxen or horses, three or four, or half 

a dozen days in the year, to fetch home their wood, or to 

plough their land : yea, and if thou have a good horse, let 

them have him good cheap ^ or take a worse for him; and 

they shall be thy shield and defend thee, though they be 

tyrants and care not for God, that no man else shall dare poll 

thee. And thereto thou mayest with wisdom get of them 

that [which] shall recompense all that thou doest to them. 

All this I mean, if thou be patient, and wise, and fear God 

thereto, and love thine neighbour, and do none evil. For if 

thou keep thyself in favour with hurting thy neighbour, thine 

end will be evil, and at the last desperation in this world, and 

hell after. 

[3 Seo Vol. I. p. 122.] 

60 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

But and if thou canst not poll thyself -with wisdom, and 
laugh, and bear a good countenance, as though thou rejoicest 
while such persons poll thee, every man shall poll thee ; and 
they shall maintain them, and not defend thee. Let this 
therefore be a common proverb — ' Be contented to be polled 
of some man ; or to be polled of every man.' 
Two manner Ye must Understand that there be two states or degrees 

states and de- _ O 

limlim.'^^ in this world : the kingdom of heaven, which is the regiment 
^' ^- of the gospel ; and the kingdom of this world, which is the 
temporal regiment. In the first state there is neither father, 
mother, son, daughter ; neither master, mistress, maid, man- 
servant, nor husband, nor wife, nor lord, nor subject, nor 
man, nor woman : but Christ is all ; and each to other is 
Christ himself. There is none better than other ; but all like 
good, all brethren, and Christ only is Lord over all. Neither 
is there any other thing to do, or other law, save to love one 
another as Christ loved us. In the temporal regiment is hus- 
band, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, master, mistress, 
maid, manservant, lord, and subject. 
ofThe s'")fr'i-'^ ^^"^ ^^ every person a double person ; and under both 
of'thl'tem! ^^® regiments. In the first regiment, thou art a person for 
\v^^t!^'^°"^' thine own self, under Christ and his doctrine, and mayest 
neither hate nor be angry, and much less fight or avenge ; 
but must after the ensample of Christ humble thyself, forsake 
and deny thyself, and hate thyself, and cast thyself away, 
and be meek and patient, and let every man go over thee, 
and tread thee under foot and do thee wrong ; and yet love 
them, and pray for them, as Christ did for his crucifiers. 
For love is all ; and what is not of love, that is damnable, and 
cast out of that kingdom, 
"vem^not -^^^ ^^^^^ kingdom is the knowledge of God and Christ. 

bou"hath ^^^ ^^ *^^^ loveth not, knoweth neither God nor Christ; 
fruh^lff'™^ therefore he that loveth not, is not of that kingdom. The 
vvTr!' minor is on this wise proved : he that knoweth God and 
Christ, seeth light, for Christ is light ; but "he that hateth his 
ijohnii. brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and wotteth 
not whither he goeth, for darkness hath blinded his eyes :" 
ergo, he that hateth his brother knoweth not what Christ 
hath done for him ; and therefore hath no true faith ; nor is 
of the spiritual kingdom of God. 

To hate thyself, that shalt thou get, if thou considerest 

V. 38 42.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 61 

thine own sins, and the deep damnation that long^ thereto, 
with due repentance. And to love, that thou shalt obtain, 
if thou behold the great and infinite mercy of God with strong 
faith ; that there is none so great an enemy to thee in this 
world, but thou shalt hghtly^ love him, if thou look well on 
the love that God shewed thee in Christ. 

In the temporal regiment, thou art a person in respect of The temporal \ 
other ; thou art an husband, father, mother, master, mistress, 
lord, ruler, or wife, son, daughter, servant, subject, &c. And 
there thou must do according to thine office. If thou be a 
father, thou must do the office of a father, and rule, or else 
thou damnest thyself. Thou must bring all under obedience, 
whether by fair means or foul. Thou must have obedience of 
thy wife, of thy servants, and of thy subjects ; and the other 
must obey. If they will not obey with love, thou must chide 
and fight, as far as the law of God and the law of the land 
will sufi'er thee. And when thou canst not rule them, thou 
art bound in many cases to deliver them unto the higher 
officer, of whom thou didst take the charge over them. 

Now to our purpose, whether a man may resist violence. Not to resist 

11/^1 ,. 1/.T -i/i violence, how 

and defend or avenge himself. I say nay, in the first state, ■'j^'^"'*"- 
where thou art a person for thyself alone, and Christ's disciple, w t. 
There thou must love, and of love do, study, and enforce ; 
yea, and sufi'er all things (as Christ did) to make peace, that 
the blessing of God may come upon thee, which saith : 
" Blessed be the peace-makers, for they shall be the children 
of God." If thou suffer and keepest peace in thyself only, 
thy blessing is the possession of this world. But if thou so 
love the peace of thy brethren, that thou leave nothing 
undone or unsuffered to further it, thy blessing is, thou shalt 
be God's son, and consequently possess heaven. 

But in the worldly state, where thou art no private man, 
but a person in respect of other, thou not only may est, but 
also must, and art bound under pain of damnation to execute 
thine office. Where thou art a father, thou must have 
obedience by fair means or by foul; and to whom thou art 
an husband, of her thou must require obedience and chastity, 
and, to get that, attempt all that the law of the land com- 
mandeth and will. And of thy servants thou must exact 

[1 That is, belongs.] 
[2 Without difficulty.] 

for malice, 
but for de- 
fence of the 
people, and 

62 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

obedience and fear, and may est not suffer thyself to be despised. 
Kuiers must And wliero thou art a ruler thereto appointed, thou must take, 
prison, and slay too ; not of malice and hate, to avenge thy- 
self, but to defend thy subjects, and to maintain thine office. 
oTthTiaw?^ Concerning thyself, oppress not thy subjects with rent, 

fines, or custom at all, neither pill them with taxes and such 
Hke, to maintain thine own lusts : but be loving and kind to 
them, as Christ was to thee ; for they be his, and the price 
of his blood. But those that are evil doers among them and 
vex their brethren, and will not know thee for their judge 
and fear thy law, them smite, and upon them draw thy sword, 
and put it not up until thou hast done thine office ; yet with- 
out hate to the person, for his master's sake, and because he 
is in the first regiment thy brother, but to amend him only ; 
or if it cannot be but that thou must lose one to save many, 
then execute thine office with such affection, with such com- 
passion and sorrow of heart, as thou wouldest cut off thine 
own arm to save the rest of the body. 

Take an example : thou art in thy father's house among 
An example thy brethren and sisters. There if one fight with another, 
regiments, or if any do thee wrong, thou mayest not avenge nor smite ; 
for that pertaineth to thy father only. But if thy father 
give thee authority in his absence, and command thee to 
smite if they will not be ruled, now thou art another 
person. Notwithstanding yet thou hast not put off the first 
person, but art a brother still, and must ever love, and 
prove all thing to rule with love : but if love will not serve, 
then thou must use the office of the other person, or sin 
against thy father. Even so, when thou art a temporal per- 
son, thou puttest not oft' the spiritual. Therefore thou must 
ever love ; but when love will not help, thou must with 
love execute the office of the temporal person, or sin against 
God. A mother can smite and love : and so mayest thou with 
love execute the office of thy second state. And the wife, 
son, servant, and subject are brethren in the first state, and 
put not that person off by reason of the second degree ; and 
Whatsoever therefore must they love ever, and with love pay custom, 
bound to do, tributo, fear, honour and obedience to whom they belong, as 
Bom. xiii. -P^^^ teacheth, Rom. xiii. And though the other do not his 
duty and love thee, but rule thee Avith rigorousness, and deal 
unkindly with thee, thou not deserving ; yet cleave thou to 

V. 38 42.] MATTHEW V, VI. VII. 63 

Christ, and love still ; and let not his evil overcome thj good- 
ness and make thee evil also. 

And as, after the example above, thy father hath power 
over thee, to command thee to use his power over thy 
brethren, even so hath thy master, to give thee his authority 
over thy fellows : which when thou hast, thou must remem- 
ber that thou art a fellow still, and bound to love still ; but 
if love alone will not help, then put thy master's authority 
unto thy love. And so hath the ruler power over thee, to 
send thee to use violence upon thy neighbour, to take him, to 
prison him, and haply to kill him too. And thou must ever 
love thy neighbour in thine heart, by the reason that he is 
thy brother in the first state ; and yet obey thy ruler and go 
with the constable or like ofiicer, and break open thy neigh- 
bour's door, if he will not open it in the king's name : yea, 
and if he will not yield in the king's name, thou must lay 
on, and smite him to the ground till he be subdued. And 
look, what harm he getteth, yea, though he be slain, that be 
on his own head. For thine heart loved him ; and thou 
desiredst him lovingly to obey, and hast not avenged thyself 
in that state where thou art a brother : but in the worldly 
state, where thou art another manner person, in this case 
thou hast executed the authority of him that hath such power 
of God to command thee ; and where thou wert damned of 
God, if thou didst not obey. 

And like is it, if thy lord or prince send thee a warfare How to be a 
into another land ; thou must obey at God's commandment, w. t. " 
and go, and avenge thy prince's quarrel, which thou knowest 
not but that it is right. And when thou comest thither, re- 
member what thou art in the first state with them against 
whom thou must fight, how that they be thy brethren, and 
as deeply bought with Christ's blood as thou, and for Christ's 
sake to be beloved in thine heart. And see that thou desire 
neither their hfe or goods, save to avenge thy prince's quarrel, 

and to bring them under thy prince's power. And be con- Thou mayest 
• 1 1 • , I'll /.I .t ^s^^ '^^^^' <"• 

tent with thy prince s wages, and with such part of the spoil ^'^y thine 

(when thou hast won) as thy prince or his deputy appointeth l^l^^ 
thee. For if thou hate them in thine heart, and covet their 
goods, and art glad that an occasion is found (thou carest not 
whether it be right or wrong) that thou mayest go a robbing 
and murdering unpunished ; then art thou a murderer in the 

64 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

sight of God, and thy blood will be shed again for it, either 
in the same war following; or when thou art come home, 
as thou there didst in thine heart, so shalt thou rob and 
steal, and be hanged for thy labour, or slain by some other 
Gr.od3. ]^^ow concerning the goods of this world, it is easy to 

judge. In the first state or degree thou oughtest to be 
thankful to Christ, and to love, to give, and to lend to them 
that are bought with his precious blood, all that thou art able. 
For all that thou owest to Christ, whose servant thou art to 
Matt. XXV. do his will, that must [thou] pay them. And that thou 
docst to them, that same thou doest to Christ ; and that thou 
art not ready to do for them, that deniest thou to do for 
Christ. But and any of thy brethren will withhold, or take 
away by force above that thou may est spare, by the reason 
of some office that thou hast in the second state ; or invade 
thee violently, and lay more on thy back than thou canst 
bear ; then hold thine heart and hand, that thou neither hate 
or smite, and speak fair and lovingly, and let neighbours go 
between. And when thou hast proved all means of love in 
vain, then complain to the law and the officer, that is set to 
be thy father and defend thee, and to judge between thee and 
thy brother. 
To go to law. Thou wilt say, ' The text forbiddeth me to go to law ;' 
for it saith, " If a man will law with thee and take thy coat, 
thou must let him have gown and all." * If I must suffer 
myself to be robbed by the law,' wilt thou say, ' by what 
right can I with law recover mine own?' I answer : Behold 
the text diligently. For by no right of law can a man take 
thy coat from thee ; for the law was ordained of God, to 
maintain thee in thy right, and to forbid that wrong should 
be done thee. Wherefore the text meaneth thus, that where 
the law is unjustly ministered, and the governors and judges 
corrupt, and take bribes, and be partial, there be patient, and 
ready to suffer ever as much more, whatsoever unright be 
done thee, rather than of impatience thou shouldest avenge 
thyself on thy neighbour, or rail, or make insurrection against 
To rise tho supcriors which God hath set over thee. For to rise 
Tudge^ma- agaiust them is to rebel against God and against thy Father, 
resist God. when ho scourgeth thee for thine offence, and a thousand 
times more sin than to avenge thee on thy neighbour. And 

V. 38 42.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 65 

to rail on them is to rail on God ; as though thou wouldest 
blaspheme him, if he made thee sick, poor, or of low degree, 
or otherwise than thou wouldest be made thyself. 

Thou wilt haply say : ' The subjects ever choose the Princes, whe- 

i. d tl J ^ ^ ther they may 

ruler, and make him swear to keep their law, and to maintain or'^^tjo^n 
their privileges and liberties, and upon that submit their selves "ectl'fn'^any" 
unto him : ergo, if he rule amiss, they are not bound to obey ; w.\. 
but may resist him, and put him down again.' I answer : 
Your argument is naught. For the husband sweareth to his 
wife ; yet though he forswear himself, she hath no power to 
compel him. Also though a master keep not covenant with 
his servant, or one neighbour with another, yet hath neither 
servant, no, nor yet neighbour (though he be under none 
obedience) power to avenge ; but the vengeance pertaineth 
ever to an higher officer, to whom thou must complain. 

' Yea, but,' you will say, ' it is not like. For the whole 
body of the subjects choose the ruler. Now cujus est ligare, 
ejus est solvere^: ergo, if he rule amiss, they that set him up 
may put him down again.' I answer : God, and not the 
common people, chooseth the prince; though he choose him 
by them. For God commandeth to choose and set up officers ; oeut. xvi. 
and therefore is God the chief chooser and setter up of them : 
and so must he be the chief putter down of them again ; so 
that without his special commandment they may not be put 
down again. Now hath God given no commandment to put 
them down again : but contrariwise, when we have anointed 
a king over us at his commandment, he saith, " Touch not ^ 
mine anointed." And what jeopardy it is to rise against the 
prince that is anointed over thee, how evil soever he be, see 
in the story of king David, and throughout all the books of 
the Kings^. The authority of the king is the authority of The^kins,^ 
God ; and all the subjects, compared to the king, are but authority. 
subjects still, though the king be never so evil ; as a thousand 
sons gathered together are but sons still, and the command- 
ment, ' Obey your fathers,' goeth over all as well as over one. 
Even so goeth the commandment over all the subjects : obey 
your prince and the higher power, and he that resisteth him, 
resisteth God, and getteth him damnation. And unto your 

[1 Whose ofl&ce it is to bind, to the same belongs to loosen.] 
[2 In this expression the two books of Samuel are to be understood 
as included.] 

r -I 5 

[tyndale, II.J 



An answer to argument, Cujus est ligare, ejus est solvere, I answer : He 
IrlumeX that bindetli with absolute power, and without any higher 
authority, his is the might to loose again ; but he that 
bindeth at another man's commandment, may not loose again 
without the commandment of the same. As they of London 
choose them a mayor ; but may not put him down again, how 
evil soever he be, without the authority of him with whose 
licence they chose him. As long as the powers or officers be 
one under another, if the inferior do thee wrong, complain to 
the higher. But if the highest of all do thee wrong, thou must 
complain to God only. Wherefore the only remedy against 
evil rulers is, that thou turn thine eyes to thyself, and thine 
own sin, and then look up to God and say : ' O Father, for 
our sin, and the sin of our fathers, is this misery come upon 
us : we know not thee as our Father, to obey thee and to 
walk in thy ways ; and therefore thou knowest not us as thy 
sons, to set loving schoolmasters over us. We hate thy law, 
and therefore hast thou, through the wickedness of unrighteous 
judges, made that law that was for our defence to be a tyrant 
most cruel, and to oppress us, and do us injury above all 
other kinds of violence and robbing.' And amend thy living, 
and be meek and patient ; and let them rob as much as they 
will, yet shall God give thee food and raiment, and an honest 
possession in the earth, to maintain thee and thine withal. 
Goods. Moreover concerning thy goods, thou must remember 

how that thou art a person in the temporal regiment ; and 
The king, as the king, as he is over thy body, even so is he lord of thy 
thy body, so goods, aud of him thou boldest them, not for thyself only, 
goods. but for to maintain thy wife, children, and servants, and to 

maintain the king, the realm, and the country, and town or 
city where thou dwellest. Wherefore thou mayest not suffer 
them to be wasted, that thou were not able to do thy duty ; 
no more than a servant may suifer his master's goods to go 
to wrack negligently. " For he that provideth not for his, 
and namely for them of his own household," saith Paul, 
" denieth the faith, and is worse than an infidel." But every 
man is bound to labour diligently and truly, and therewith so 
soberly to live, that he may have enough for him and his, 
and somewhat above for them that cannot labour, or by 
chance are fallen into necessity : and of that give and lend, 
and look not for it again ; and if that suffice not thy neigh- 

V. 38 42.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 67 

hour's necessity, then speak and make labour to thy brethren, 
to help also. For it is a common proverb, " Many hands 
make light work ;" and many may bear that that one alone 

And thy wife, thy children, and servants, art thou bound 
to defend. If any man would force thy wife, thy daughter, 
or thy maid, it is not enough for thee to look on, and say, 
' God amend you.' Nay, thou must execute thine office and 
authority which the king giveth thee. And by the way thou 
must defend thy master and his goods, and the king's goods, 
which thou hast to maintain thy wife and household withal, 
and thine neighbour that goeth with thee, against thieves and 
murderers. And against all such persons lay about thee, and 
do as thou wouldest do if thou were under the king's standard 
against his enemies which had invaded the realm. For all 
such persons are mortal enemies to the realm; and seek to 
put down the king, and law, and all together, and to make that 
it might be lawful to sin unpunished. And of this manner, 
if thou mark well the difference of these two states and 
regiments, thou mayest soil all like doubts that shall be laid Regiments, 
against thee. 

Moreover when I say, there be two regiments, the 
spiritual and the temporal ; even so I say that every person, Every man is 
baptized to keep the law of God and to beheve in Christ, is re"gimenu. 
under both the regiments, and is both a spiritual person and 
also a temporal, and under the officers of both the regiments ; 
so that the king is as deep under the spiritual officer, to hear 
out of God's word what he ought to beheve, and how to live, 
and how to rule, as is the poorest beggar in the realm. And 
even so the spiritual officer, if he sin against his neighbour, as the spi- 

,. . ritualty may 

or teach lalse doctrme, is under the kmg's or temporal cor- rebuke kings- 

^ , vices, so may 

rection, how high soever he be. And look, how damnable it l^'"^^ "^f 

' O ' temporal cor- 

is for the king to withdraw himself from the obedience of the ^|^\^JJ j^g 
spiritual officer, that is to say, from hearing his duty to do ^P"^''"^ity- 
it, and from hearing his vices rebuked to amend them ; so 
damnable is it for the spiritual officer, how high soever he 
be, to withdraw himself from under the king's correction, if 
he teach false, or sin against any temporal law. 

Finally, ye must consider that Christ here teacheth his a preacher 
disciples, and them that should be the light and salt in living may use no 

■"■ _ o o violence. 

and doctrine, to shine in the weak and feeble eyes of the w. t. 





repine to hear 
of their 
Matt. X. 

world, diseased with the megrim \ and accustomed to dark- 
ness, that without great pain they can behold no light; and 
to salt their old festered sores, and to fret out the rotten flesh, 
even to the hard quick, that it smart again ; and spare no 
degree, but tell all men, high and low, their faults, and 
warn them of the jeopardy, and exhort them to the right 
Rulers do Way. Now such schoolmasters shall find small favour and 
friendship with the rulers of this world, or defence in their 
laws : as Christ warneth them, saying, " I send you out as 
sheep among wolves. Beware therefore of men ; for they 
shall deliver you up to their councils, and shall scourge you 
in their synagogues" or council-houses, "and ye shall be 
brought before the chief rulers and kings, for my sake ; " 
and there teacheth them, as here, to arm themselves with 
patience, and to go forth boldly with a strong faith, and trust 
in the succour and assistance of God only, and to plant the 
gospel with all love and meekness, and to water it with their 
own blood, as Christ did. Thou mayest not, in that state, 
come with a sword, to defend either thyself or thy gospel, 
and to compel men to worship thee as God, and to believe 
what thou wilt. Nay, ye sheep, use no such regiment among 
wolves. If thou be a sheep, thou art not in evil taking, if 
thou canst bring to pass that the wolf be content with thy 
fleece only, and to shear thee yearly. 

" Give to him that asketh, and from him that would 
borrow turn not away." Luke saith, " Give to whosoever 
asketh thee : " that is to say, wheresover thou seest need, or 
seest not the contrary but there may be need ; to the utter- 
most of thy power there open thine heart, and be merciful 
only. And of mercifulness, set God thy father, and Christ 
thy lord and master, for an ensample : and enforce to be as 
like them as thou canst. If thou be merciful, God hath 
bound himself to be merciful to thee again. Lo, is not this 
an exceeding great thing, that God, which of no right ought 
to be bound to his creatures, hath yet put it whole in thine 
own hands, to bind him against the day of thy tribulation, 
then to shew thee mercy ? 

Concerning lending, proceed by the foresaid rule of 
mercy. Many, in extreme need, yet ashamed to beg, shall 
desire thee to lend. Unto such, instead of lending, give ; or 
[1 Old editions my<jrim.'] 

In lending, 
we must 
follow the 
rule of 

V. 3S — 42.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII, G9 

say thus, ' Lo, here is as much as ye require. If ye can 
pay it again well, do, and ye shall find me ready against 
another time, to lend or give (if need be) as much more. 
But and if ye shall not be able to pay it again, trouble not 
your conscience, I give it you. We be all one man's children : 
one man hath bought us all with his blood, and bound us to 
help one another.' And with so doing thou shalt win the 
heart of him to thy Father. 

Concerning merchandise and chapmen, the less borrowing 
were among them, the better should the commonwealth be : 
if it were possible, I would it were, ware for ware ; or money 
for ware; or part money and part ware. But if it will not be, 
but that a man, to get his living with, must needs lend, and 
call for it again, to find his household, and to pay his debts ; 
then in the lending be first single and harmless as a dove, 
and then as wise as a serpent ; and take heed to whom 
thou lendest. If when thou hast lent an honest man, God 
visit him, and take away his goods, with what chance it be, 
whether by sea or land, that he is not able to pay thee; 
then to prison him, or to sue him at the law, or once to 
speak an unkind word, were against the law of love, and 
contrary to shewing mercy. There thou must suffer with 
thy neighbour and brother, as Christ did with thee, and as 
God doth daily. If an unthrift have beguiled thee, and spent 
thy goods away, and hath not to pay, then hold thine hand we must 

</ O t/ ' Id' ^ not revenge 

and heart, that thou avenge not thyself; but love him, and ""on'^ur 

pray for him, and remember how God hath promised to bless butrefer°our 

the patient and meek. Nevertheless, because such persons lTdh\s ^°'^' 

corrupt the common manners, and cause the name of God the ° 

less to be feared, men ought to complain upon such persons 

to the officer that is ordained of God to punish evil doers, 

and the officer is bound to punish them. If thou have lent 

a fox, which with cavillation will keep thy goods from thee; 

then if the ruler and the law will not help thee to thy right, 

do as it is above said of him that will go to law with thee, 

and take thy coat from thee ; that is to say, be content to 

lose that and as much more to it, rather than thou wouldest 

avenge thyself. Let not the wickedness of other men pluck 

thee from God ; but abide by God and his blessings, and 

tarry his judgment. Liberality is mercifulness, that bindeth 

God to be merciful again. Covetousness (the root of all evil. 

70 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

Covetous- and father of all false prophets, and the schoolmaster that 

ness is the 

root of all teaches the messeno;ers of Satan to diso-uise themselves like 

evil. o ^ ^ O 

James ii. to the mossengors of Christ) is merciless, that shall haA^e 
judgment without mercy; and therefore exhorteth Christ all 
his so diligently, and above all thing, to be liberal and to 
beware of covetousness. 

Ye have heard, how it is said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate 
thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love yom- enemies. Bless them 
that curse you, do good to them that hate you. Pray for them 
Avhich do you wrong, and persecute you: that ye may be the 
children of your heavenly Father. For he maketh his sun to arise 
over the evil, and over the good, and sendeth rain upon the righteous 
and unrighteous. For if ye love them that love you, what reward 
shall ye have ? do not the publicans so ? And if ye be friendly to 
your brethren only, what singular thing do ye ? do not the pub- 
licans likewise? Ye shall therefore be perfect, as yoiu- Father, 
which is in heaven, is perfect. 

This text, of hating a man's enemy, standeth not in any 

one place of the bible; but is gathered of many places, in 

The enemies which God commaudeth the children of Israel to destroy their 

of God and • i /-< • i 

his word are enomics, tho Canaanites, the Amorites, the Amalekites, and 

to be hated. ' j 5 j 

other heathen people, as the Moabites, and Ammonites, which 
sought to bring them out of the favour of God, and to destroy 
the name of God. The Amalekites came behind them, and 
slew all that were faint and weary by the way, as they came 
out of Egypt. The Moabites and Ammonites hired Balaam 
to curse them, and beguiled them with their women, and 
made a great plague among them. These and like nations 
were perpetual enemies to their land which God had given 
them, and also of the name of God and of their faith : for 
which cause they not only might lawfully, but were also 
bound to hate them, and to study their destruction again ; 
howbeit they might not yet hate, of the said nations, such as 
were converted to their faith. 

Now by the reason of such texts as commanded to hate 
the common enemies of their country, and of God and his 
law, and of their faith, the Pharisees' doctrine was, that a 
man might lawfully hate all his private enemies, without ex- 
ception, nor was bound to do them good. And yet Moses 
Lev. xix. saith, " Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart." 
Exod. xxiii. And again, " Thou shalt not avenge thyself, nor bear hate 

V. 43 -18.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 71 

in thy mind against the children of thy people." And, " If 
thine enemy's ass sink under his burden, help to hft him up 
again. And if his ox or ass go astray, bring them home 
again : " which all, no doubt, the Pharisees did interpret for 
good counsel, but for no precepts; wherefore Christ salteth 
their doctrine, and proveth that a man is bound both to love 
and to do good to his enemy ; and as a natural son, though 
his brethren be never so evil, yet to love them, and shew 
them kindness for his father's sake, and to study to amend 
them. What hast thou to rejoice of, if thy religion be no 
better than the religion of thieves ? For thieves love among 
themselves : and so do the covetous of the world, as the 
usurers and publicans, which bought in great the emperor's Publicans, 
tribute, and, to make their most advantage, did overset the ^^^re. w. t. 
peopled Nay, it is not enough for thee to love thy bene- 
factors only, as monks and friars do, and them of thine own 
coat and order, or the brethren of thine own abbey only ; 
for among some their love stretcheth no farther, and that 
shall he that is removed out of another cloister thither well 
find : yea, and in some places charity reacheth not to all the 
cells of the same cloister, and to all the monks that were 
professed in the same place. But lift up thine eyes unto thy 
heavenly Father, and as thy Father doth, so do thou love as our hea- 

" . . . . venly Father 

all thy Father's children. He ministereth sun and rain to bestowem 

<^ _ _ his benefits 

good and bad ; by which two understand all his benefits : a^'^ bld°so 
for of the heat and dryth of the sun, and cold and moist of ^'^^'^bo'^h*" 
the rain, spring all things that are necessary to the Hfe of ["!"'' *"'' 
man. Even so provoke thou and draw thine evil brethren 
to goodness, with patience, with love in word and deed; and 
pray for them to him that is able to make them better and 
to convert them. And so thou shalt be thy Father's natural 
son, and perfect, as he is perfect. The text saith not. Ye 
shall be as perfect as God; but perfect after his example. 
To be perfect, in the scripture, is not to be a monk or axobeper- 
friar, or never to sin. For Christ teacheth not here monks ^'^^^.'^^h. 
or friars, but his disciples and every christian man and woman. 
And to be in this life altogether without sin is impossible. 
But to be perfect is to have pure doctrine without false 
opinions, and that thine heart be to follow that learning. 

[1 That is, they bought the gross produce of the tribute ; and over- 
charged the people in the collection of it.] 



Take heed to your alms, that ye do it not before men, to be seen of 
them, or else ye get no reward of youi' Father which is in heaven. 
Therefore when thou givest alms, make not a trumpet to be blown 
before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the 
streets, to be praised of men. Verily I say unto you, they hare 
their reward. But thou, when thou givest alms, let not thy left 
hand know what thy right hand doth, that thine alms may be in 
secret. And then thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward 
thee openly. 

Alms. As he rebuked their doctrine above, even so here he 

rebuketh their works ; for out of devihsh doctrine can spring 
Deeds com- ^^ g^dlj works. But what works rebuketh he? Verilj 
the"cri|)ture, such as God in the scripture commandeth, and without which 
othlr'°iiT^ no man can be a christian man ; even prayer, fasting, and 
ought, f?e alms-deed. For as the scripture, corrupt with glosses, is no 
deeds. more God's word, even so the deeds commanded in the 

scripture (when the intent of them is perverted) are no more 
godly deeds. What said the scribes and Pharisees of him 
(think ye) when he rebuked such manner of works? No 
doubt, as they said, when he rebuked their false glosses, 
how he destroyed the law and the prophets, interpreting the 
scripture after the literal sense which killeth, and after his 
own brain, clean contrary to the common faith of holy church, 
and minds of great clerks, and authentic expositions of old 
holy doctors ; even so here what other could they say than, 
'Behold the heretic ! and. Did not we tell you before whereto 
he would come, and that he kept some mischief behind, and 
spewed not out all his venom at once? see to what all his 
godly new doctrine that sounded so sweetly is come ! He 
preached all of love, and would have the people saved by 
faith, so long till that now, at the last, he preacheth clean 
against all deeds of mercy, as prayer, fasting, and alms-deed, 
and destroyeth all good works. His disciples fast no more 
than dogs, they despise their divine service, and come not to 
church ; yea, and if the holiest of all St Francis' order ask 
them alms, they bid him labour with his hands, and get his 
living, and say that he that laboureth not is not worthy 
to eat, and that God bade that no such strong lubbers should 
loiter, and go a begging, and be chargeable to the congre- 
gation, and eat up that other poor men get with the sweat of 

YI. I 4] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 73 

their bodies : yea, and at the last ye shall see, if we resist him 
not betimes, that he shall move the people to insurrection, as 
Caiphas said, and the Romans shall come and take our land 
from us.' As ye see in the text, Luke xxiii. how, when they 
could not drive the people from him with those pursuasions, 
they accused him to Pilate, saying: "We have found this Luke xxiii. 
fellow perverting the people, and forbidding to pay tribute to 
Caesar, and saying that he is Christ, a king." Wherefore 
"thou canst not be Caesar's friend, if thou let him escape." John xix. 
But after all these blasphemies, yet must the Holy Ghost 
rebuke the world of their righteousness, yea, of their false 
righteousness and false holiness, which are neither righteous- 
ness nor holiness, but colour of hypocrisy. 

Christ here destroy eth not prayer, fasting, and alms-deed, n is the 
but preacheth against the false purpose and intent of such and'intent 

of our 

works, and perverting the true use ; that is to say, their deeds 



seeking of glory, and that they esteemed themselves righteous mar. 
thereby, and better than other men, and so despised and 
condemned their brethren. With our alms (which is as much 
to say as deeds of mercy), or compassion, we ought to seek 
our Father's glory only, even the wealth of our brethren, 
and to win them to the knowledge of our Father and keeping 
of his law. He that seeketh the glory of his good works, 
seeketh the glory that belongeth to God, and maketh himself 
God. Is it not a bhnd thing of the world, that either they 
will do no good works at all, or will be God for their good 
works, and have the glory themselves ? 

Concerning blowing of trumpets, and ringing of bells, or Tobiow 
making a cry, to call men to fetch alms, (though the right >wiS.^^w. 
way be, that we should know in every parish all our poor, 
and have a common coffer for them ; and that strangers 
should bring a letter of recommendation with them of their 
necessity, and that we had a common place to receive them 
into for the time ; and though also we ought to flee all occasions 
of vain-glory,) yet while the world is out of order, it is not 
damnable to do it. So that the very meaning, both that we 
blow no trumpets, and that the left hand know not what the Left hand, 
right hand doth, is, that we do as secretly as we can, and in 
no wise seek glory, or to receive it if it were proffered ; but 
to do our deeds in singleness of conscience to God, because it 
is his commandment, and even of pure compassion and love 

74 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

to our brethren ; and not that our good deeds, through stand- 
ing in our own conceit, should cause us to despise them. 
vaingioTy, If thou bo tempted to vain-glory for thy good deeds, then 

a good re- ' o <y . 

agafnst it. ^^^^^ ^^ thine evil thereto, and put the one in the one balance, 
^- ^- and the other in the other. And then, if thou understand the 

law of God any thing at all, tell me, whether weigheth heavier. 
If that that thou doest do tempt thee, then consider what thou 
doest not. If it move thee to set up thy comb, when thou 
givest thy brother a farthing or a halfpenny, ponder in thine 
heart how far thou art off from loving him as well as thyself, 
and caring for him as much as for thyself. And be sure 
how much thou lackest of that, so much thou art in sin, and 
that in damnable sin, if God for Christ's sake did not pardon 
thee, because thine heart mourneth therefore, and thou 
fightest with thyself to come to such perfection. If a peacock did 
look well on his feet, and mark the evil-favoured shrieking of 
his voice, he would not be so proud of the beauty of his tail. 
Works jus- Finally, that many dispute. Because God hath promised 

drse^vl^'ife *° reward our deeds in heaven, that our deeds deserve 
mi^ed!* ^'^"' heaven ; and because he promiseth to shew mercy to the 
merciful, that with our deeds we deserve mercy ; and because 
he promiseth forgiveness of sins to them that forgive, that 
our deeds deserve forgiveness of sin, and so justify us : I 
answer, first, there is enough spoken thereof in other places ; 
so that to them that have read that it is superfluous to rehearse 
the matter again. Furthermore, the argument is naught, and 
holdeth by no rule. See ye not that the father and mother 
have more right to the child and to all it can do, than to an 
ox or a cow ? It is their flesh and blood, nourished up with 
their labour and cost. The hfe of it, and the maintenance 
and continuance thereof, is their benefit; so that it is not 
able to recompense that it oweth to father and mother by a 
thousand parts. And though it be not able to do his duty, 
nor for blindness to know his duty, yet the father and 
mother promise more gifts still without ceasing, and that such 
as they think should most make it to see love, and to provoke 
it to be willing to do part of his duty. And when it hath 
done amiss, though it have no power to do satisfaction, nor 
lust or corage^ to come to the right way again, yet their love 

[1 Used as in Vol. I. p. 417, not for bravery, but for the inclination 
of the heart.] 

YI. 1 4.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 75 

and mercy abideth still so great to it, that upon appointment 
of mending they not only forgive that is past, and fulfil their 
promise nevertheless 2, but promise greater gifts than ever 
before, and to be better father and mother to it than ever 
they were. Now when it cannot do that thousandth part of 
his duty, how could it deserve such promises of the father 
and mother, as a labourer doth his hire ? The reward thereof 
cometh of the love, mercy, and truth of the father and mother, 
as well when the child keepeth the appointment, as when 
they fulfil their promise when it hath broken the appointment ; 
and not of the deserving of the child. 

Even so, if we were not thus drowned in blindness, we our reward 
should easily see that we cannot do the thousandth part of ofourde"erts, 
our duty to God : no, though there were no hfe to come, the lUe tLt 

-rf 1 Tf • 'iiT-ii-i t'Of* beareth 

ii there were no lite to come, it were not right that I should "« through 

, o faith in Jesus 

touch any creature of God otherwise than he hath appointed. <^^"''- 
Though there were no life to come, it had nevertheless been 
right that Adam had abstained from the forbidden apple-tree, 
and from all other too, if they had been forbid. Yea, and 
though there were no hfe to come, it were not the less right 
that I loved my brother, and forgave him to-day, seeing I 
shall sin against him to-morrow. Because a father cannot 
give his children heaven, hath he no power to charge them 
to love one another, and to forgive, and not to avenge one 
another ? And hath he not right to beat them if they smite 
each other, because he cannot give them heaven ? A bond- 
man that hath a master more cruel than a reasonable man 
would be to a dog, if there were no heaven, might this bond- 
servant accuse God of unrighteousness, because he hath not 
made him a master? Now, then, when we cannot do our 
duty by a thousand parts, though there were no such pro- 
mises, and that the thing commanded is no less our duty 
though no such promise were ; it is easy to perceive that the 
reward promised cometh of the goodness, mercy, and truth 
of the promiser, to make us the gladder to do our duty, and 
not of the deserving of the receiver. When we have done all 
we can, we ought to say in our heart, that it was our duty, 
and that we ought to do a thousand times more ; and that God 
(if he had not promised us mercy, of his goodness in Christ,) 
he might yet of right damn us for that we have left undone. 
[^ L., not the later. 1 


chfiiTn Vthe ^^^ ^^ touching foi'giveness of sin : though forgiveness 

ourmeritf ^^ ^^^ ^® promisod uuto thoo, yet challenge it not by thy 
J^hrist-s merits, but by the merits of Christ's blood ; and hear what 
Phul'iii. Paul saith : " Concerning the righteousness of the law I was 
faultless," or such as no man could rebuke ; " but the 
things that were to vantage, I thought damage for Christ's 
sake ; yea, I think all thing to be damage, or loss, for the 
excellent knowledge's sake of Christ Jesus my Lord ; for 
whose sake I let all go to loss, and count them as chaff or 
refuse," (that is to say, as things which are purged out, 
and refused, when a thing is tried and made perfect,) " that I 
might win Christ, and might be found in him, not having 
my righteousness that cometh of the law, but that which 
Cometh of faith in Christ Jesus ; which righteousness cometh 
of God through faith, and is to know him and the power of 
his resurrection," (how he is Lord over all sin, and the only 
thing that slayeth and vanquisheth sin), "and to know also 
the fellowship of his passions, that 1 might be made like unto 
his death." 

So that when righteousness and true merits be tried, we 
must be content that ours be the chaff, and Christ's the pure 
corn ; ours the scum and refuse, and Christ's the pure gold. 
And we must fashion ourselves like unto Christ, and take 
Cross. w.T. every man his cross, and slay and mortify the sin in the 
flesh; or else we cannot be partakers of his passion. The sin 
we do before our conversion is forgiven clearly through faith, 
if we repent, and submit ourselves to a new life. And the 
whTMhev ^''^ ^® ^° against our wills, (I mean the will of the Spirit; for 
do. w. T. after our conversion we have two wills, fighting one against 
the other,) that sin is also forgiven us through faith, if we 
repent and submit ourselves to amend. And our diligence in 
working keepeth us from sinning again, and minisheth the 
sin that remaineth in the flesh, and maketh us pure and less 
apt and disposed to sin ; and it maketh us merry in ad- 
versities, and strong in temptations, and bold to go unto God 
with a strong and fervent faith in our prayers, and sure that 
we shall be heard when we cry for help at need, either for 
Negligence in oursclvcs or our brethren. Now, they that be neglio-ent and 

doing good . . . i • /. 

brin|eth^us gm, are brought in temptation unto the point of desperation, 

^'°"- and feel the very pains of hell ; so that they stand in doubt 

whether God hath cast them away or no : and in adversity 

VI. 1 4.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 77 

they be sorrowful and discouraged, and think that God is 
angrj, and punisheth them for their sins, 
taketh pain to do his father's pleasure, and is sure that he eviiTading^. 
shall have thank and a reward for his labour, he is merry, 
and rejoiceth in work and pain that he suffereth ; and so 
is the adversity of them that keep themselves from sinning. 
But a child, when he is beaten for his fault, or when he 
thinketh his father is angry, and loveth him not, is anon des- 
perate and discouraged : so is the adversity of them that are 
weak, and sin oft. A child that never displeaseth his father 
is bold in his father's presence, to speak for himself or his 
friend : but he that oft offendeth, and is correct or chid, 
though the peace be made again, yet the remembrance of his 
offences maketh him fearful, and to mistrust, and to think his 
father would not hear him ; so is the faith of the weak, that 
sin oft. But as for them that profess not a new living, how- Promise. 
ever so much they dream of faith, they have no faith at all : fessethnot°a 

•^ . 11 new life, hath 

for they have no promise, except they be converted to a new no promise of 

•^ 1 ' 1 t/ mercy m 

life. And therefore in adversities, temptation and death, they chnst. w.x. 
utterly despair of all mercy, and perish. 

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be hke the hypocrites. For 
they love to stand and pray in the synagogues, and in corners of 
the streets, that they miglit be seen of men. Verily, I say unto 
you, they have their reward. Thou therefore, when thou prayest, 
go into thy chamber, and shut thy door, and pray to thy Father 
which is in seci-et. And thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall 
reward thee openly. 

After alms foUoweth prayer. For as it is a christian man's Prayer. 
part to help his neighbour, and to bear with him when he is 
overcharged, and suffer with him, and to stand one by another, 
as long as we live here on this earth ; even so, because we be 
ever in such peril and cumbrance that we cannot rid ourselves 
out, we must daily and hourly cry to God for aid and succour, 
as well for our neighbours as for ourselves. 

To give alms, to pray, to fast, or to do any thing at all. Works 
whether between thee and God, or between thee and thy seasoned 
neiojhbour, canst thou never do to please God therewith, except ™°'''''*f„ 

O ' i '1 they shall 

thou have the true knowledge of God's word to season thy p'easeGod. 
deeds withal. For God hath put a rule in the scripture, 
without which thou canst not move an hair of thine head, but 

what it i 
W. T. 

78 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

tliat it is damnable in the sight of God. As it is of the Jews, 
though (as Paul beareth them record) they have a fervent 
zeal to God, yea, and have the scripture thereto ; yet because 
they have not the true understanding, all is damnable that 
they do. Hypocrites with scraps of alms get an hundred- 
fold. And with prayer they get praise, (as thou seest here) ; 
and pray thereto, and rob widows' houses, as thou readest 
Matt, xxiii. And with fasting they get fat bellies, full dishes, 
and ever more than enough. And yet there is none alms, 
praying, or fasting among them, in the sight of God. With 
their prayers they exclude all true prayers, and make it 
impossible that there should be any among them. For 
prayer is either a longing for the honour and name of God, 
that all men should fear him, and keep his precepts, and 
believe in him ; and contrary to that, they seek their own 
honour, that men should fear them and keep their ordinances, 
and believe in their sweet blessings, prayers, pardons, and 
whatsoever they promise : if they bid fast, thou must do it 
or be damned, and be an heretic and rebellious to holy 
church : if they dispense, and give thee clean remission 
for to eat flesh on Good Friday, though thou be never so 
lusty, thou must obey, or else thou art damned, and an 
heretic, because thou dost not believe in holy church. Either 
prayer is, to give God thanks for the benefits received ; 
contrary to which, they will first have thanks of the world 
for their prayers, and rob not only widows' houses, but also 
lord, prince, emperor, and all the world, of house and 
land ; yea, and of their wits too. And then they bind God 
to thank them, and to give them (beside the thanks which 
they have gotten in the world) not only heaven and a higher 
place, but that he give heaven to no other man, save through 
their merits. Either prayer is a complaining and a shewing 
of thine own misery and necessity, or of thy neighbour's 
before God ; desiring him, with all the power of thine heart, 
to have compassion and to succour. Contrary to this, they 
have excluded with their prayers all necessity and misery 
from among them. They be lords over all, and do what they 
will through the whole world. King and emperor are their 
servants ; they need but say the word, and their will is ful- 
filled. And as for their neighbours, they have no compassion 
upon them, to bring their complaints before God; but with 

VI. 5, 6.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 79 

their prayers rob them of that Httle they have, and so make 
them more miserable. 

Of entering into the chamber and shutting the door to, 
I say as above, (of that the left hand should not know what to shut thy 
the right hand doth,) the meaning is, that we should avoid all door, what 
worldly praise and profit, and pray with a single eye and true w. x. 
intent according to God's word ; and [it] is not forbidden 
thereby to pray openly. For we must have a place to come 
together, to pray in general, to thank and to cry to God 
for the common necessities, as well as to preach the word 
of God in : where the priest ought to pray in the mother 
tongue, that the name of God may be hallowed, and his word 
faithfully taught and truly understood, and faith and godly 
living increased ; and for the king and rulers, that God will 
give them his Spirit, to love the commonwealth ; and for 
peace, that God will defend us from all enemies ; for weder- 
ing^ and fruits, that God will keep away pestilence and all 
plagues. And the priest should be an example to the people 
how they should pray. There be, of such things as the 
priests and other babble (and not pray), many good collects, 
that should much edify the people, if they were spoken in the 
mother tongue. And then, while the priests sing psalms, let 
every man pray privately, and give God thanks for such 
benefits as his heart knoweth he hath received of God, and 
commend to God his private necessities, and the private 
necessities of his neighbours which he knoweth, and is privy 
to. Neither is there, in all such, any jeopardy of vain-glory. 
But and if God hath given any man the spirit of praying, as 
all men have not like gifts, that he pray oft and when other 
do not ; then to have a secret place to pray in, both for the 
avoiding of vain-glory and speech of people, and that thou 
mayest be free to use thy words as thou lustest, and whatso- 
ever gestures and behaviours do move thee most to devotion, 
is necessary and good. 

And, finally : whatsoever necessity thou hast, though thou 
feel thyself a great sinner, yet if thine heart be to amend, let 
not that discourage thee : but go boldly to thy Father, 
seeing thou hast his commandment ever to pray, and promise God-s com- 
that he will hear thee, not for thy goodness, but of his ^Tpro-"' 
goodness, and for his truth. move^us to 


[1 Saxon; paebejiuns, inclement weather.] 


Moreover, when yc pray, babble not much as the heathen do. For 
they tliink that they shall be heard for their much babbling's sake. 
Be not, therefore, like unto them. For your Father knoweth of 
what things ye have need, before ye ask him. Of this manner, 
therefore, pray ye : 
The Pater- Q\ Qur Father, which art in heaven, honoured be thy name, thy 
kingdom come. Thy will be fulfilled, even in earth, as it is in 
heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our 
trespasses as we forgive our trespassers. And lead us not into 
temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, 
the power and the glory for ever. Amen. 

As before he rebuked their false intent in praying, that 

they sought praise and profit of that work, which ought to 

be direct to God alone, either to give him thanks, that is to 

say, to be aknowen, and to confess in the heart that all we 

have cometh of him ; or to call upon him for aid and succour 

That prayer in tomptatious and all necessity: even so here he rebuketh 

wherein the a falso kind of praying, wherein the tongue and Hps labour, 

joined with and all the body is pained, but the heart talketh not with 

the tongue. «/ i 

God, nor feeleth any sweetness at all, nor hath any confidence 
in the promises of God ; but trusteth in the multitude of 
words, and in the pain and tediousness of the length of the 
prayer ; as a conjuror doth in his circles, characters, and 
superstitious words of his conjuration : as ye see now to be 
among our friars, monks, canons and nuns, and even through- 
out all the spiritualty ; which (as I have proved above) 
have, with their false intent of praying, excluded all occasions 
and the whole matter of true prayer, and have turned it into 
False prayer a bodily labour, to vex the tongue, hps, eyes, and throat with 
*^ P^'" " • roaring, and to weary all the members ; so that they say 
(and may truly swear it) that there is no greater labour in 
the world than prayer ; for no labour, whatsoever it be, when 
the body is compelled, and the heart unwilling, can be other 
True prayer than gricvous and painful. But true prayer (if they com- 
plained and sought help either for themselves, or for their 
neighbours, and trusted in the promise of God) would so 
comfort the soul and courage the heart, that the body, though 
it were half dead and more, would revive and be lusty again, 
and the labour would be short and easy : as for an ensample ; 
if thou were so oppressed that thou were weary of thy life, 
and wentest to the king for help, and haddest sped, thy 
spirits would so rejoice, that thy body would receive her 

VI, 7 1.*?.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 81 

strength again, and be as lusty as ever it was ; even so the 
promises of God work joy above all measure, where they be 
believed in the heart. 

But our hirehngs have no God's word, but trust in the 
multitude of words, length of babbling, and pain of body, as 
bond servants : neither know they any other virtue to be in 
prayer ; as ye may see by the ordinances of all foundations. 
King Henry the Fifth built Sion, and the Charterhouse of sion. 
Shene ^ on the other side of the water, of such a manner that shene. 
lip-labour may never cease. For when the friars of Sion 
ring out, the nuns begin ; and when the nuns ring out of 
service, the monks on the other side begin ; and when they 
ring out, the friars begin again, and vex themselves night 
and day, and take pain for God's sake ; for which God must 
give them heaven. Yea, and I have known of some ere this, 
that for very pain and tediousness have bidden the devil 
take their founders. They call Lent the holiest time of the 
year ; but wherein is that hohness ? Yerily, in multitude of 
words, and the tedious length of service. For let them begin 
at six, and it will be twelve or they can end ; in which time 
they be so wearied, that by the time they have dined, they 
have lust to nothing save to sleep. And in the end of all 
they think no farther, than that God must reward their pain. 
And if you ask how they know it ? they will answer : He 
must reward it, or be unrighteous. Now, God looketh not ^^"^J^^lPi^^' 
on the pain of the prayer, but on thy faith in his promise tV/faltMn 
and goodness ; neither yet on the multitude of thy words, Swh re^p^c't^ 
or long babbling : for he knoweth thy matter better than 
thou thyself. And though the Jews and the heathen were 
so foohsh, through their unbelief, to babble many words, yet 
were they never so mad as to mumble and buz out words 
that they understood not. Thou wilt say, What matter 
maketh it if I speak words which I understand not, or if I 
pray not at all, seeing God knoweth my matter already? 
I answer : He will have thee to open thine heart to him, to 
inform and edify thine ownself, (that thou mightest know 
how all goodness is of him,) to put thy trust and confidence 
in him, and to fly to him in time of need, and to be thankful, 
and to love him and obey his commandments, and turn and 

[^ Shene ; whose name Henry VII. changed to Richmond, his own 
early title.] 

[tyndale, II.J 




The Pater- 
noster is 
W. T. 

To honour 
God's name 
what it is. 
W. T. 

be converted unto thy Lord God ; and not to run wild as 
the ungodly do, which know not the benefits of God, and 
therefore be unthankful to obey his commandments. 

And that thou may est know how, and what to pray, he 
givcth thee a short instruction and ensample, saying. After 
this manner pray : 

Our Father, which art in heaven. 

First, thou must go to him as a merciful Father ; which 
of his own goodness and fatherly love, that he beareth to 
thee, is ready to do more for thee than thou canst desire, 
though thou have no merits, but because he is thy Father, 
only if thou wilt turn, and henceforth submit thyself to learn 
to do his will. 

Honoured be thy name. 

Honoured and praised be thy name ; or honoured and 
praised be thou : for to honour God, and to honour the name 
of God, is all one. And to honour the name of God is to 
dread him, to love him, and to keep his commandments. 
For when a child obeyeth his father, he honoureth and 
praiseth his father : and when he is rebellious and disobe- 
dient, he dishonoureth his father. This is, then, the under- 
standing and meaning of it. Father, seeing thou art 
Father over all, pour out thy Spirit upon all flesh, and make 
all men to fear, and dread, and love thee as their Father, 
and in keeping thy commandments to honour thee and thy 
holy name. 

Thy kingdom come. 

Kings must That Is, scoing thou art king over all, make all to know 

nothing, nor thce ', and make the kings and rulers, which are but thy 

forbid to do '. , i • , ,. , , 

cSntrar"^to substitutcs, to commaud nothmg but accordmg to thy word, 
Gods word. g^jj(j ^Q them make all subjects obey. 

Thy will be fulfilled in earth as it is in heaven. 

This is all one with that goeth before. Forasmuch, then, 
as thou art Father and king over all, and all we thy children 
and brethren among ourselves, make us all as obedient to 
seek and to do thy will, as the angels do in heaven. Make 
that no man seek his own will, but all thine. But and if 
thou withdraw thine hand, to tempt thy children, that the 

VI. 7 13.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII, 83 

rulers command ought contrary to thy will, then make the 
subjects to stand fast by thy word, and to offer themselves 
to suffer all extremity rather than to obey. Finally, when when we 

, . . ,,..•';.. request 

we pray to thee in our temptations and adversities, desiring ^"jything at 
thee of whatsoever thing it be, and mean truly ; yet if thou, ^atws w^if^ 
which knowest all, seest a better way to thy glory and our not'ours'.^"'* 
profit, then thy will be, and not ours : as thy son Jesus 
gave us an ensample, when he desired (if it had been possible) 
that that cup of bitter death might have departed from him, 
saying, " Yet not as I will, but as thou wilt." 

Give us our daily bread. 

By bread is understood all manner of sustenance, in the Daily bread, 
Hebrew speech ; yea, and here is understood thereby all that understood 
pertaineth unto the necessity of this life. If we have bread, taineth to the 

1 • 1 1 (» 1 • 1 • 1 1 • necessity of 

there is dearth of nothing that can pinch, namely ^ in that land, 'hisufe. 
Give us our daily bread. Give us all that the necessity of this 
life daily requireth. Give us it day by day as we need it. 
We desire not to have store for many years, to exclude all 
necessity of praying to thee, and to be, as it were, out of thy 
danger, and to forget thee : but minister it day by day, that 
we may daily feel thy benefits, and never forget thee. Or if 
thou give us abundance above that we desire, then give us an 
heart to use it, and to bestow it for that purpose thou gavest 
it, and to deaP with our neighbours, and not to love it inor- 
dinately ; but to think that it is thine, and that thou mayest 
take it away every hour, and that we be content that thou 
so do at thy pleasure ; and so ever to have it but for daily 

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive our trespassers. 
Because he knoweth that our nature is so weak that we 
cannot but sin daily ; therefore he teacheth us daily to repent, 
and to reconcile ourselves together, and daily to ask God 
forgiveness. Seeing he commandeth us to ask, we may be 
bold so to do, and to believe that he will forgive us. No man, 
therefore, needeth to despair, that can repent and ask forgive- 
ness, however so deep he hath sinned. And, methinketh, if 
we looked somewhat nearer to this text, we needed not make 

[1 Namely, i. e. especially in the land of Canaan, where Christ was 
when he spoke this prayer.] 
[2 Deal, i. e. divide.] 


84 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

the pope so great a god, for his pardons. For Christ (which 
A surer way is a man to bc behaved) sheweth us here a more sure way ; 
yea, and that a sensible way, by which we may feel that 
we be pardoned, and our sins forgiven. Vie can have no 
experience of the pope's things, whether they be so or no. 
He can with all his pardons deliver no man of any purgatory 
that God putteth us unto in this world. He cannot bless, or 
heal any man so much as of a poor ague, or tooth-ache ; which 
diseases yet (by his own confession) God putteth on us to purge 
us from sin. But where we cannot see, feel, or have any 
experience at all, that it so is, there is he mighty. If I were 
come home out of a land where never man was before, and 
were sure never man should come, I might tell as many 
wonders as Master More doth of Utopia, and no man could 
rebuke me. 
How thou But here Christ maketh thee sure of pardon ; for if thou 

sureof pardon caust forgivo thv brothor, God hath bound himself to forgive 

for thy sins. , • /. • i • o mi 

thee. What if no man have smned against me ? That were 
hard in thishfe; nevertheless yet, if that profession be in thine 
heart, that thou knowest that it is thy duty to forgive thy 
brother for thy Father's sake, and art obedient to thy Father's 
ordinance, and wouldest forgive, if any of thy brethren had 
offended thee, and did ask thee forgiveness ; then hast thou 
that same spirit which God desireth to be in thee. Mark what 
Christ saith above, in the beginning of the fifth chapter : 
Matt.v. "Blessed be the merciful, for they shall have mercy." Dost 
thou pity thy brethren that sin, and dost thy best to amend 
them, that thy Father's name may be honoured ? Then hast 
thou that, whereby thou art sure of mercy as soon as thou 
desirest it. And again: "Blessed be the peace-makers, for 
they shall be God's children." Lo, if there be any variance 
among thy brethren, that one have offended the other, do thy 
best to set them at one, and thou hast the same thing that 
God desireth of thee, and for which he hath bound himself to 
forgive thee. 

Lead us not into temptation. 

That is, let us not slip out of thy leased but hold us fast; 
give us not up, nor cease to govern us, nor take thy Spirit 

[} Lease, or Leash ; a cord or thong, by which the huntsman held 
one or more dogs.] 

VI. 7 13.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 85 

from us. For as a hound cannot but follow his game when 
he seeth it before him, if he be loose ; so can we not but fall we cannot of 
into sin when occasion is given us, if thou withdraw thine faif into sin. 
hand from us. Lead us not into temptation. Let no tempta- 
tion fall upon us greater than thine help in us; but be thou 
stronger in us than the tem.ptation thou sendest, or lettest come 
upon us. Lead us not into temptations. Father, though we 
be negligent, yea, and unthankful and disobedient to thy true 
prophets ; yet let not the devil loose upon us to deceive us, 
with his false prophets, and to harden us in the way in which 
we gladly walk, as thou diddest Pharaoh with the false mi- 
racles of his sorcerers ; as thine apostle Paul threateneth us. 2 Thess. ii. 
A little thread holdeth a strong man, where he gladly is. A 
little pulling draweth a man, whither he gladly goeth. A little 
wind driveth a great ship, with the stream. A light persuasion smaii occa- 
is enough to make a lecherous man believe that fornication is untcTwrarr* 
no sin ; and an angry man, that it is lawful to avenge himself, pronef ^^ 
and so forth, by all the corrupt nature of man. A little miracle 
is able to confirm and harden a man in that opinion and faith 
which his blind reason believeth already. A few false miracles 
were sufficient to persuade the covetousness of Pharaoh, and 
his greediness to hold the children of Israel in bondage for 
their service, that thy true miracles, showed by Moses for 
their deliverance, were not of thee, but of the same kind, and 
done by the same craft, as were the miracles of his sorcerers, 
and so to harden his heart. 

Even so. Father, if thou give us over for our unkindness, 
seeing the bhnd nature of man dehghteth in evil, and is ready to 
beUeve lies, a Uttle thing is enough to make them that love not 
to walk in thy truth, (and therefore never able to understand 
thy Son's doctrine, John vii.) for to believe the feignings of Johnvii. 
our most holy father, all his superstitious popery and invisible 
blessings, and to harden them therein. As a stone cast up into 
the air can neither go any higher, neither yet there abide, 
when the power of the hurler ceaseth to drive it ; even so. 
Father, seeing our corrupt nature can but go downward only, 
and the devil and the world driveth thereto that same way, 
how can we proceed further in virtue or stand therein, if thy 
power cease in us ? Lead us not therefore, merciful Father, 
into temptation, nor cease at any time to govern us. 

Now, seeing the God of all mercy, which knoweth thine 


86 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

infirmity, commandeth thee to pray in all temptation and 
adversity, and hath promised to help, if thou trust in him ; 
what excuse is it to say, when thou hast sinned, I could not 
stand of myself; when his power was ready to help thee, 
if thou haddest asked ? 

But deliver us from evil. 

First, as above, let us not fall into temptation. Secondarily, 

if we be fallen (as who liveth and falleth never ? For never to 

mo should fall were enough to make a man as evil as Lucifer, and to 

to'be without believe that he stood by his own power : if therefore we be 

■"", were as ^nv iii 

i^asLu- fallen) even to the bottom, howsoever deep it be, put m thme 
arm after, (for it is long and strong enough,) and pluck us out 

Thirdly, deliver us from evil, and pluck us out of the flesh, 
and the world, and the power of the devil ; and place us in thy 
kingdom, where we be past all jeopardy, and where we cannot 
sin any more. 

For the kingdom, and the power and the glory, is thine for ever. Amen. 

Because that thou only art the king, and all other but 
substitutes. And because all power is thine, and all other 
men's power but borrowed of thee; therefore ought all honour 
and obedience to be thine of right, as chief Lord ; and none to 
be given other men, but only for the office they hold of thee. 
Neither ought any creature to seek any more in this world 
than to be a brother, till thou have put him in office ; then (if 
brotherliness will not help, which he ought first to prove) let 
him execute thy power. Neither may any man take authority 
of himself, till God have chosen him ; that is to wit, till he be 
chosen by the ordinance that God hath set in the world, to 
rule it. Finally, no king, lord, master, or what ruler he be, 
hath absolute power in this world, and is the very thing 
which he is called ; for then they ceased to be brethren still, 
neither could they sin, whatsoever they commanded. But 
now their authority is but a limited power, which when they 
transgress, they sin against their brethren, and ought to re- 
concile themselves to their brethren, and to ask forgiveness ; 
and they are bound to forgive. 
Kings and Finally, let kings, rulers, and officers remember that God 

aiione afore is the vory king, and refer the honour that is given to them 
for their offices' sake to him, and humble themselves to him, 

VI. 13 15.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 87 

and knowledge and confess in their hearts, that they be but 
brethren, and even no better before God, than the worst of 
their subjects. So be it^ 

For if ye forgive men their fjiults, your heavenly Father shall forgive 
you also. But and if ye do not forgive men their faults, no more 
shall your Father forgive your faults. 

This is God's covenant with us, and a confirmation of the a covenant 
petition above rehearsed in the Pater-noster : "Forgive us our God is"bound 

n • T/> 1 M to forgive US, 

trespasses, as we lorgive our trespassers. It thou wilt enter and we to for- 

'■ ~ '■ give each 

into the covenant of thy Lord God, and forgive thy brother ; °*er. w. t. 

then whatsoever thou hast committed against God, if thou 

repent and ask him forgiveness, thou art sure that thou art so 

absolved by these words, that none in heaven nor earth can 

bind thee; no, though our most holy father curse thee as black 

as coals, seven foot under the earth, and seven foot above, 

and cast all his hghtning upon thee, to burn thee to powder. 

Keep the covenant of the Lord thy God therefore, and fear 

no bugs. But and if thou wilt not come within the covenant ood-scove- 

of God, or if, when thou hast professed it, and received the ^b"oiutfon'to 

sign thereof, thou cast the yoke of the Lord from off thy neck, it. w. t. 

be thou sure thou art bound by these words so fast that none 

in heaven or in earth can loose thee ; no, though our earthish 

god whisper all his absolutions over thee, and claw thee, and 

stroke thine head with all his sweet blessings. 

Furthermore, though forgiveness of thy sins be annexed 
to thy work and forgiving thy brother; yet do not (as I said) 
thy works justify thee before God. But the faith in Christ's 
blood, and in the promises made to us for his sake, doth bring 
righteousness into the heart. And the righteousness of the 
heart by faith is felt and known by the work : as Peter, 2 Pet. i. 
in the first of his second epistle, commandeth to do good 
works, for to make our vocation and election sure ; that we 
might feel our faith, and be certified that it is right. For 
except a man be proved and tried, it cannot be known, neither 
to himself or other men, that he is righteous and in the true 
faith. Take an example, lest thou be beguiled with sophistry. 
Christ saith, "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which aMatt-xui. 
woman taketh and hideth in three pecks of meal till all be Leaven, bow 
leavened," or sour. Leaven is sometimes taken in an evil iTuiLn^''^ 

[1 Thus L., but D. Amen.] 



Faith, what 
power it is of, 
and the fruits 
that spring 

Love is 
ness. W. T. 

love. W. T. 
1 John ii. 


Eph. i 

sense, for the doctrine of the Pharisees, which corrupted the 
sweetness of the word of God with the leaven of their glosses; 
and sometime in a good sense, for the kingdom of heaven, that 
is to say, the gospel and glad tidings of Christ. For as leaven 
altereth the nature of dough, and maketh it thorough sour; 
even so the gospel turneth a man into a new life, and altereth 
him a little and a little, first the heart, and then the members. 

Faith in Christ first certifieth the conscience of the forgive- 
ness of sins, and delivereth us from the fear of everlasting 
damnation ; and then bringeth the love of God and of his law 
into the heart, which love is the righteousness of the heart. Love 
bringeth good works into the members ; which works are the 
outward righteousness, and the righteousness of the members. 
To hate the will of God is the unrighteousness of the heart ; 
and causeth evil works, which are the unrighteousness of the 
members : as when I hated my brother, my tongue spake 
evil, my hands smote, and so forth. To love is the righteous- 
ness of the heart; and causeth good works, which are the 
righteousness of the members : as if I love my brother, and 
he have need of me, and be in poverty, love will make me put 
mine hand into my purse, or almonry, and to give him some- 
what to refresh him, &c. That the love of God and of his 
commandments is the righteousness of the heart, doth no man 
doubt, save he that is heartless. And that love springeth of 
faith, thou mayest evidently see, 1 John ii. : " He that loveth 
his brother dwelleth in the light. But he that hateth his 
brother, is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and wotteth 
not whither he goeth ; for darkness hath blinded his eyes." 
Why is he that hateth in darkness ? Verily, because he seeth 
not the love of God in Christ : for if he saw that, he could 
not but love his brother for so kind a father's sake. If any 
man hate his brother, be thou sure that the same man is in 
darkness, and hath not the light of true faith, nor seeth what 
Christ hath done. If a man so love that he can forgive his 
brother, assure thyself that he is in the light of the true faith, 
and seeth what mercy is shewed him in Christ. 

This is then the sum of all together : works are the out- 
ward righteousness before the world, and may be called the 
righteousness of the members, and spring of inward love. 
Love is the righteousness of the heart, and springeth of faith. 
Faith is the trust in Christ's blood, and is the gift of God ; 

VI. 14, 15.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 89 

whereunto a man is drawn of the goodness of God, and driven 
through true knowledge of the law, and of beholding his 
deeds in the lust and desire of the members unto the request 
of the law, and with seeing his own damnation in the glass of 
the law. For if a man saw his own damnation in the law, 
he should immediately hate God and his works, and utterly 
despair, except God offered him Christ, and forgave all that 
were past, and made him his son, and took the damnation of 
the law away, and promised that if he would submit himself 
to learn and to do his best, that he should be accept as well 
as an angel in heaven ; and thereto, if he fell of frailty, and not 
of malice and stubbornness, it should be forgiven upon amend- 
ment, and that God would ever take him for his son, and only 
chastise him at home when he did amiss, after the most 
fatherliest manner, and as easily as his disease would suffer, 
but never bring him forth to be judged after the rigorousness 
of the law. And as thou couldest not see leaven, though thou Asieaven 

11 cannot be 

brakest up a loaf, except thou smelledst or tastedst the seen in a loaf 

••■ J- without smell 

sourness, even so couldest thou never see true faith or love, °5„*f 'fv!?fh 

' ' cannot taitri 

except thou sawest works ; and also sawest the intent and good works"' 
meaning of the worker, lest hypocrisy deceive thee. o? thetame"' 

Our deeds are the effect of righteousness, and thereto an appear. ""^ 
outward testimony and certifying of the inward righteousness, 
as sourness is of leaven. And when I say faith justifieth, the ihatfauh 
understanding is, that faith receiveth the iustifying. God what'it mean- 
promiseth to forgive us our sms, and to impute us for full 
righteous. And God justifieth us actively : that is to say, 
forgiveth us, and reckoneth us for full righteous. And Christ's 
blood deserveth it ; and faith in the promise receiveth it, and 
certifieth the conscience thereof. Faith challengeth it for 
Christ's sake, which hath deserved all that is promised ; and 
cleaveth ever to the promise, and truth of the promisor ; and 
pretendeth not the goodness of her work, but knowledgeth that 
our works deserve it not, but are crowned and rewarded with 
the deservings of Christ. Take an ensample of young children, 
when the father promiseth them a good thing for the doing 
of some trifle, and, when they come for their reward, dallieth ^ 
with them, saying : ' What, that thou hast done is not worth 
half so much : should I give thee so great thing for so little 
a trifle ? ' they will answer : ' Ye did promise me : ye said, I 
[1 So L., but D. delayeth.} 




Works are 
W. T. 


should have it : why did ye promise, and why then did ye 
say SO?' And let him say what he will to drive them off, 
they will ever say again, 'Ye did promise me, so ye did : ye 
said I should have it, so ye did.' But hh^elings will pretend ^ 
their work, and say, 'I have deserved it: I have done so much, 
and so much, and my labour is worth it.' 

Now at the first covenant-making with God, and as oft 
as we be reconciled, after we have sinned, the righteousness 
Cometh of God altogether. But after the atonement is made 
and we reconciled, then we be partly righteous in ourselves 
and unrighteous; righteous as far as we love, and unrighteous 
as far as the love is unperfect. And faith in the promise of 
God, that he doth reckon us for full righteous, doth ever 
supply that unrighteousness and imperfectness, as it is our 
whole righteousness at the beginning. 

Finally, our works which God commandeth, and unto which 
he annexed his promises that he will reward them, are as it 
were very sacraments, and visible and sensible signs, tokens, 
earnest obligations, witnesses, testimonies, and a sure certifying 
of our souls, that God hath and will do according to his pro- 
mise, to strength our weak faith, and to keep the promise in 
mind. But they justify us not, no more than the visible works 
of the sacraments do. As for example, the work of baptism, 
that outward washing, which is the visible sacrament or sign, 
justifieth us not. But God only justifieth us actively, as cause 
efficient or workman. God promiseth to justify whosoever is 
baptized to believe in Christ, and to keep the law of God ; 
that is to say, to forgive them their fore sins, and to impute 
righteousness unto them, to take them for his sons, and to love 
them as well as though they were full righteous. Christ hath 
deserved us that promise, and that righteousness. And faith 
doth receive it; and God doth give it and impute it to faith, 
and not to the washing. And the washing doth testify it, and 
certify us of it, as the pope's letters do certify the believers of 
the pope's pardons. Now the letters help not or hinder, but 
that the pardons were as good without them, as with them 2, 
save only to stablish weak souls, that could not believe except 

{} Allege as giving a legal claim ; from the use of the word prce- 
tendo in law Latin. So Gesner's Thesaurus, Barbaris prcetendere est 
postulare tanquam jure sibi suo debitum.] 

[2 So L., but the last three words are not in D.] 

Vr. 14 18.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 91 

they read the letters, looked on the seal, and saw the print of 
St Peter's keys. 

O a merciful God, and a most loving Father, how careth 
he for us ! First, above all and beside all his other benefits, 
to give us his own Son Jesus, and with him to give us himself 
and all ; and not content therewith, but to give us so many 
sacraments, or visible signs, to provoke us and to help our 
weak faith, and to keep his mercy in mind : as baptism, the 
sacrament of his body and blood, and as many other sacraments 
as they will have, if they put significations to them (for we 
destroy none, but they destroy which have put out the signi- 
fications, or feigned some without), as wedlock, to signify that 
Christ is the husband and we his wife and partakers with him, 
as the wife with her husband, of all his riches, &c. And 
beyond all those visible sacraments, to give us yet more sen- 
sible and surer sacraments, and surances of his goodness, even 
in our ownselves: as if we love and give alms to our neighbour, 
if we have compassion and pray for him, if we be merciful and 
forgive him, if we deny ourselves, and fast, and withdraw all 
pleasures from the flesh, for love of the life to come, and to 
keep the commandments of God. For when such things being 
before impossible, and now are easy and natural, we feel and 
are sure that we be altered, and^ a new creature, shapen in 
righteousness after the image of Christ and God our Father, 
seeing his laws of righteousness are written in our hearts. 

When ye fast, be not sad as tlie hypocrites are. For they fashion them Fast. 
a new countenance, that it might appear unto men how they fast. 
Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward. Thou therefore, 
when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face, that it ap- 
pear not unto men how thou fastest ; but unto thy Father which is in 
secret : and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. 

As above of alms and prayer, even so here Christ rebuketh 
the false intent and hypocrisy of fasting; that they sought if fasting be 
praise of that work that was ordained for to tame the flesh, other end7 

1 1 f ^ • ^ 11-11 *^" '° tame 

and used such fashions, that all the world might know that ^e flesh, that 

O thereby we 

they fasted, to praise them, and to say, 'O what holy men are J^Joyg^'^rone 
these; how pale and pitiful look they, even like death, hanging uifabus^u.''' 
down their heads, and beholding the earth, as men clean out of 
the world ! If these come not to heaven, what shall become of 
us poor wretches of the world ? If these be not great in the 
[3 So L., but in D. and of a new, &c.] 

92 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

favour of God, and their prayers be heard whatsoever they ask, 
in what case are we lay people ? Happy is he that may be a 
brother among them, and partaker of their prayers and fastings, 
and other holy living. In an unhappy (in an happy, I would say) 
hour was he born that buildeth them a cell or a cloister, or giveth 
them a portion of his land to comfort them good men in this 
painful living, and strait penance which they have taken upon 
them. Blessed were he that might kiss the edge of the coat 
of one of them. Oh, he that might have his body wrapped 
in one of their old coats at the hour of death, it were as good 
to him as his Christendom \ &c.'' It appeareth also by that 
they asked Christ, why his disciples fasted not as well as 
the Pharisees, that they oft fasted when the common people 
fasted not, and all to appear holy ; as ours fast advent, and 
begin before lent at Septuagesima, when Laus tihi Domine^ 
Cometh in. 
Toanointthe And couceming the anointing of thy head, &c. is meant, 
meaneThf" as aforc of tumiug the other cheek, and of that the left hand 
should not know what the right did : that is, that they should 
avoid all vain-glory, and fast to God, and for the intent that 
God ordained it for, and that with a merry heart and cheerful 
countenance, thereby to feel the working of God, and to be 
sure of his favour. Such is the meaning, and not to bind 
them that will fast to anoint their heads and wash their faces. 
And the manner or phrase of speaking cometh of an usage, 
that was among the Jews, to anoint themselves with sweet 
and odoriferous anointments, when they were disposed to be 
merry and to make good cheer, as ye see how Mary of 
Bethany poured a box of precious ointment upon Christ's head 
at supper. 
Fasting. As couceming fasting, it were good, that kings and rulers 

did set an order of soberness among their subjects, to avoid 
dearth, innumerable diseases, and the great heap of vices that 
spring of intemperancy ; and that they forbid not only riot and 
excess, but also all manner wanton, delicious, and customable 
eating and drinking of such things as corrupt the people, and 

[1 Christening.] 

[2 Praise to thee, O Lord. From Septuagesima to Palm Sunday 
the Roman breviary directs the omission of Te Deum in the Sunday 
service ; and Laus tibi Domine is then added as a ninth responsorium 
in its stead.] 

VI. l6 18.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 93 

make the men more effeminate than the women, so that there 
remaineth no more tokens of a man in them save their beards. 
Our fashions of eating make us slothful, and unlusty to labour The heap of 

^ inconve- 

and study: unstable, inconstant, and light-mannered; full of "-epces that 

t/ ' ' ... . . spring by in- 

wits, after-witted (as we call it), incircumspect, inconsiderate, *n'S^"''Jr- 
heady, rash, and hasty to begin unadvisedly, and without andd?inkin| 
casting of perils, the end not considered what may follow, nor 
the means well looked upon, how and by what way the matter 
might be brought to pass, triflers, mockers, rude, unsavoury 
jesters^ without all manner of salt, and even very apes and 
marmosets, and full of wanton and ribaldish communication and 
lewd gestures. It corrupteth the wit with false judgment, and 
infecteth the body with lust, and maketh the whole man so 
unquiet in himself, that the body cannot sit still and rest in 
one place, and continue in his work, nor the mind persevere 
and endure in one purpose. 

Let them provide that there be diligent fishing in the sea, 
and command the sea coast, and towns whither fish may easily 
come, to fast Friday, Saturday, and Wednesday too, if need be. Fasting days, 
and on the Friday to eat no white meat. And let the coun- aLtmemje, 
tries which have none abundance of fish, yet have white meat dained for 
enough, fast Friday and Saturday from flesh only. And let ^eais sake, 
those countries where scarcity of both is, fast Friday from 
flesh only, and eat flesh Wednesday and Saturday ; but 
abstain from supper, or from dinner, or eat soberly those 
days. And let them so moderate their fasts that the people 
may bear it, a provision made for the old, the sick, and 
feeble, &c. : which fast shall be a temporal thing, for a tem- 
poral commonwealth only, and not a service to God. 

Then let the priests preach first the law truly, and teach 
the people to see their sins, and so bring them to repentance ; 
and secondarily, the faith of Christ, and the forgiveness of sin 
through faith ; and thirdly, alms, prayer, and fasting, which 
are the whole life of a christian man, and without which 
there is no christian man ahve. And let them preach the 
true use of their alms, which is to help thy neighbour with Aims, 
counsel, with body and goods, and all that is in thy power ; 
and the true use of prayer, which is to bring his necessity Prayer. 
and thine own before God, with a strong faith in his pro- 
mises ; and the true use of fasting, which is to tame the flesh Fasting. 
[3 So L., but D. unsavoury jesture.] 

94 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

unto the spirit, that the soul may attend to the word of God 
and pray through faith. 
Alms, By these three we keep the Spirit of God ; and both 

prayer, ana « i a. ' 

SS^Sryf"^ continue, and also grow in righteousness, and wax perfecter 
^- ^- and perfecter in soul and body. And if these fail, or that we 

understand not the right intent, we lose the Spirit again, and 
the righteousness of faith, and the true understanding of the 
scripture, and all our learning shall be but pure darkness. 
And then what a blindness is that, when the darkness of hell 
is called the light of heaven ! 
Alms, As it is of alms and prayer, so it is of fasting : judge 

faTJn&Tre like^ of all three. Where any one of them is, there are they 
msepara e. ^^ thrco : and where any one is away, there is none at all. 
We must have the profession of all three ever written in our 
hearts. I must ever love my neighbour and be ready to 
help, and when occasion is offered, then do it. I ought to 
consider and know that all cometh of God ; and to knowledge 
that same to him in mine heart. And whatsoever we need, we 
ought to know that we must receive that of God, and there- 
fore to call ever to him with a strong faith. Even so I must 
ever fight against my flesh, and therefore ever withdraw from 
it all that movetli it to rebel against the Spirit. 
Fasting is not So now fastiug staudcth not in eating and drinking only, 
drinVinf^" and much less in flesh alone; but in abstinence of all that 
w. T. moveth the flesh against the Spirit, as long sleeping, idleness, 

and filthy communication, and all worldly talking, as of 
covetousness and promotion and such like, and wanton com- 
pany, soft clothes, and soft beds, and so forth ; which are 
that right hand and right eye, that must be cut off and 
plucked out, that the whole man perish not. And as ye can 
put no general rule of alms or prayer, no more can ye of 
fasting. But I must be always ready to cut off whatsoever 
I perceive to strength the flesh against the Spirit. And I 
must have a diligent eye to the flesh and his complexion ; 
and, if aught escape me in word or deed, seek whence the 
occasion came, and at once cut off that right hand, and pluck 
out that eye. 
Works If this fast be truly preached, then is fasting good, and 

make hypo- «/ x ^ ' O O ' 

truetntem^ not aforc, for making of hypocrites : as Christ would not let 
^^^y- his disciples fast before they were learned, lest they should 
[1 So D.,-but in L. like is wanting.] 

VI. 16" 18.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 95 

thereby have been no better than the Pharisees. And then 
the outward fasting, ordained by the temporal rulers, helpeth 
much for the weak's sake. Yea, and though the land were so 
plenteous, that it needed not to command such fast for to avoid 
dearth, yet they ought to set such up, because of them that 
cannot rule themselves ; for whose sakes they ought to forbid Ruiers be 

111 !••/> ordained 

excesses oi taverns, and alehouses, and riotma: out of season, f?"^ them 

O that cannot 

For if the people could rule themselves, what need rulers ? selves!"""" 
Moreover, if any man privately shew the priest his infirmities, ^- ^" 
and the priest see any manner of abstinence or chastising apt 
for the person, that let him counsel him to do for the subduing 
of the flesh ; and not command as a tyrant, under pain of 
damnation, and to make satisfaction. Thuswise let him say : 
' Brother or sister, ye be bound under pain of deadly sin to 
tame your flesh by some manner of way, that ye sin not 
against God ; and I know no better than this : My counsel 
and my desire therefore is, that ye use this, till either ye 
have no more need, or till God shew you some better,' &c. 
And let elders consider dihgently the course of their youth, 
and with wisdom, counsel, and discreet governance help the 
younger to avoid the perils and jeopardies which they have 
learned, by their own experience, to be in that dangerous 

Moreover, when the people be fallen from their profession, 
and from the law ; as it shall be impossible for the preacher to The office 

I'l i"/»i of a true 

keep the great multitude together, if the temporal sword be preacher. 
slack and neghgent in punishing open offences (as they ever Note tins 
have and will be, save in those points only wherein lieth the temporal 
pith of their own profit and advantage, and the weight of their "^''^^• 
honour and maintenance of their dignities) ; and when God also 
(as his promise is) hath brought upon them the curses of the law, 
hunger, death, battle, pestilence and all manner of plagues, with 
all misfortune and evil luck ; then let the true preachers be 
importune, and shew the people the causes of their misery 
and wretched adversity ; and expound the law to them, and 
bring them to knowledge of their sins ; and so bind their 
consciences, and draw them to repentance, and to the appoint- 
ment and covenant of the Lord again : as many holy prophets. Prophets. 
priests, and kings in the old Testament did call the people ind kmlf' 
back, and brought them again in time of adversity unto the Testament, 
appointment of the Lord ; and the priest, prophet, or king, poachers. 




Papists have 
often called 
to the pope's 
covenant, but 
seldom to 
the Lord's. 

How God 
in our pain- 

in God's stead smote hands with them, and took an oath of 
them, to be the Lord''s people, and to turn again to the 
Lord's covenant, for to keep his law and to believe in his 
promises : and God immediately withdrew his hand, and rid 
them out of all captivity and danger, and became as merciful 
as ever before. 

But we Christians have been very seldom, or never, 
called again to the covenant of the Lord, the law of God, and 
faith of Christ ; but to the covenant of the pope often ; as 
he now clucketh apace for his chickens, and will both prove 
all his old policies, and seek and imagine new practices. And 
if the people come again, let the priest or bishop, after the 
ensample of the prophets and high priests of the Israelites, 
take an oath, in God's stead, of the king and lords. And let 
the king and lords receive an oath of the people, and follow 
the ensample of the Ninevites in fasting and praying. 

Some men will say, Seeing fasting is to withdraw all 
pleasures from the body and to punish the flesh, then God 
delighteth in our pain-taking, &c. I answer : God delighteth 
in true obedience, and in all that we do at his commandment, 
and for the intent that he commandeth it for. If thou love 
and pity thy neighbour, and help him, thy alms is acceptable. 
If thou do it of vain-glory, to have the praise that belongeth 
to God, or for a greater profit only, or to make satisfaction 
for thy sins past, and to dishonour Christ"'s blood, which hath 
made it already ; then is thine alms abominable. If thy 
prayer be thanks in heart, or calling to God for help, with 
trust in him according to his promise, then thy prayer 
pleaseth. If thou believe in Christ's blood for the remission 
of sins, and henceforth hatest sin, that thou punishest thy 
body to slay^ thy lusts, and to keep them under, that thou 
sin not again ; then it pleaseth God exceedingly. But and if 
thou think that God delighteth in the work for the work 
itself, the true intent away, and in thy pain for thy pain 
itself, thou art as far out of the way as from heaven to the 
earth. If thou wouldest kill thy body, or, when it is tame 
enough, pain him further that thou wert not able to serve 
God and thy neighbour according to the room and estate 
thou art in ; thy sacrifice were clean without salt, and al- 
together unsavoury in the taste of God, and thou mad and out 

[1 SoL.,butD./ce] 

VI. 14 18.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 97 

of thj- wit. But and if thou trust in thy work, then art thou 

Now let us look on the pope's fast. First, the intent i"''^ ^"tent 

■T 1 ' of fasting, 

should be to tame thy lusts, not lechery only, but pride ^J^'"^!''^' 

chiefly, wrath, malice, hate, envy, and covetousness, and 

to keep the law of God ; and therefore standeth not in meat 

and drink only. But how they keep God's law, compare it 

to their deeds, and thou shalt see. Secondarily, the fast of How the 
1111 -111' ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^ 

the old law was, to put on mournmg clothes, as hair or sack, w. t. 

and neither to eat nor drink until night, and all the while to 
pray, and to do alms-deeds and shew mercy : and at even 
they ate flesh, and what God gave, soberly ; as little as would 
sustain the body, &c. The pope's fast is commonly only to The pone-s 
eat no flesh. I say not, look how lean they be ; but, consider 
what a taming of the flesh it is, to eat ten or twenty manner 
of fishes, dressed after the costHest manner, and to sit a couple 
of hours, and to pour in of the best wine and ale that may be a feasting 
gotten ; and at night to banquet with dew (as they say) of "' ' 
all manner of fruits and confections, marmalade, succade, 
green ginger, comfits, sugarplate with malmsey and romney 
burnt with sugar, cinnamon and cloves, with bastado, mus- 
cadell and ipocrass, &c. Think ye not that a piece of salt 
fish or pickerel, with drinking and such dews, doth not tame 
the body exceedingly ? 

Furthermore, that the true intent is away, both of their The tme 
fasting and prayers, it is evident ; first, by the multiplying of away from 
them : for when the Jews had lost the understanding of their fasting, 
sacrifices, and did beheve in the work, then they were mad 
upon them, that well was he that could rob himself to oifer 
most ; insomuch that the prophets cried out against them, 
that their offerings stank in the nose of God. And ours had 
so multiplied their fasting, that they could no longer bear 
them : at the beginning they were tolerable, for the van- 
tage, qtiia levis est labor cum hicro^ ; but vfhen they had 
purchased enough and enough again, they became intolerable. 
And therefore all our monks, whose profession was never Monks 
to eat flesh, set up the pope, and took dispensations, both for pope a god 
that fast, and also for their strait rules, and made their pensauons. 
strait rules as wide as the hoods of their cowls. And 

[2 Because lucrative labour is light.] 

[tyndale, II.] 

98 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

as for the hypocrisy of the fratry\ where they eat but in- 
visible flesh, or that is interpret to be no flesh", [it] is spoken 
of in other places. Another proof is that they so long a time 
have given pardons, of the merits of their fasting, as though 
they had done more than enough for themselves ; and of that 
merchandise have gotten all they have, and have brought the 
knowledge of Christ's blood clean into darkness. And last of 
all, what shall I say of the open idolatry of innumerable 
fasts ; of St Brandon's fast^ St Patrick's fast, of four holy 
Fridays^, of St Anthony's between St Mary's days^ of our 
Lady fast, either seven year the same day that her day falleth 
on in March, and then begin, or one year with bread and 
water ^ and all for what purposes, ye know well enough; and 

[1 The fratry, or refectory, was the dining-room of a monastery. 
Fosbroke has devoted his thirty-fifth chapter to a description of its 
usages and luxuries. — Brit. Monachism.] 

[2 The flesh of the otter came under this description ; being 
counted no flesh, and therefore lawful food on fast days, because the 
otter was supposed to live exclusively on fish. — Fosbroke, ch. xxxv. 
p. 218. n. d. Third edition, 1843.] 

[3 The wild legend, which tells the tale of this imaginary British 
abbot and bishop must have been peculiarly off"cnsive to Tyndale, from 
the glaring way in which it teaches that works of charity will be re- 
warded, irrespective of faith in Clu-ist. For it describes Brandon as 
deserting the duties of his office to search the ocean for the terrestrial 
paradise ; and as finding Judas Iscariot in the midst of the sea, upheld 
from di'owning by sitting on a stone, which he said that he remembered 
having put down in a muddy part of Jerusalem to save passengers 
from falling into the dirt. — Catalogus sanctorum ; editus a Rev.^^""'* 
Petro de Natalibus ; episc. Equilino. mdxiii. fol. cv. — See also Legenda 
aurea, ccxxx.] 

[•* The Fridays of the fasts Quatuor temporum; of which Bing- 
ham says, " Some think Gregory VII." (pope Hildebrand) "was the first 
who ordered that the ordination fasts should concur with them." — 
Origin. Eccles. B. xxi. ch. ii. § 1 and 7, Vol. vii. pp. 236 and 243. 
Lond. 1840.] 

[5 Antony, an Egyptian monk of the third centmy, was so popular 
a saint, that it would seem that the fast of his vigil, kept on the six- 
teenth of January, was of more note than any other occm'ring between 
the vigils preceding the festival of the Virgin's conception, on the 
eighth of December, and that preceding the festival of the purification 
on the second of February. — See Vol. i. p. 91.] 

[6 The Lady fast here described seems to have been a species of 
penance, whether voluntary or enjoined, in which the i^enitent had the 

VI. 19 2J.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 99 

of such like, I trow, ten thousand in the world ? And who 
hath rebuked them ? 

See that ye gather not treasure upon the earth, where rust and moths 
corrupt, and where thieves break up and steal : But gather 
you treasure in heaven, where neither rust nor moths corrupt, and 
where thieves neither break up nor steal. For where your treasure 
is, there will be your hearts also. 

Note the goodly order of Chrisfs preaching. First he 
restored the true understanding of the law, then the true 
intent of the works. And here, consequently, he rebuketh 
the mortal foe and sworn enemy both of true doctrine and 
true living, which is covetousness ; the root of all evil, saith 
Paul, (1 Tim. vi.) Covetousness is image-service, (Col. iii.) It J;°7'X"ta 
maketh men to err from the faith, (1 Tim. vi). It hath no ftls'^^w?!. 
part in the kingdom of Christ and God, (Eph. v). Covetous- cJi!?ii7'' 
ness hardened the heart of Pharaoh, that the faith of the ^^''' "' 
miracles of God could not sink into it. Covetousness did 
make Balaam, which knew all the truth of God, to hate it, 
and to give the most pestilent and poisonful^ counsel against 
it that heart could imagine, even for to destroy it, if it had 
been possible. Covetousness taught the false prophets in the 
old Testament to interpret the law of God falsely, and to 
pervert tlie meaning and intent of all the sacrifices and 
ceremonies, and to slay the true preachers that rebuked 
them. And with their false persuasions they did lead all the 
kings of Israel out of the right way, and the most part of the 
kings of Judah also. And Peter, in the second chapter of his 2Pet. li. 
second epistle, prophesieth that there should be false teachers 
among us, that should follow the way of Balaam (that is to 
say, for covetousness persecute the truth), and through covet- 
ousness with feigned words to make merchandise of the people, 
and to bring- in damnable sects too. And here ye have an covetous- 

c) u ness cannot 

infallible rule, that where covetousness is, there is no truth; ^l^"- 
no, though they call themselves the church, and say thereto 
that they cannot err. Covetousness kept Judas still in un- 

choice of either fasting once a week for seven years, on that day of 
the week on which Lady-day happened to fall, beginning his course 
from that day, or of finishing his penance sooner by taking as many fast- 
ing-days together, which would obviously amount to one whole year.] 
['^ So D., but L. has poison counsel. — See Vol. i. p. 17, n. 4 ] 


100 EXPOSITION OF ^ [chap. 

belief, though he saw and did also many miracles in the name 
of Christ, and compelled him to sell him to the scribes and 
Pharisees ; for covetousness is a thing merciless. Covetous- 
ness made the Pharisees to lie on Christ, to persecute him, 
and falsely to accuse him. And it made Pilate, though he 
found him an innocent, yet to slay him. It caused Herod to 
persecute Christ, yet in his cradle. Covetousness maketh 
hypocrites to persecute the truth, against their own con- 
sciences ; and to lie to princes, that the true preachers move 
sedition and make their subjects to rise against them : and 
the said covetousness maketh the princes to believe their 
wicked persuasions, and to lend their swords to shed innocent 

Finally, covetousness maketh many, whom the truth 
pleaseth at the beginning, to cast it up again, and to be 
afterward the most cruel enemies thereof, after the ensample 
Acts viii. of Simon Magus ; yea, and after the ensample of sir Thomas 
More. w. T. Morc, Kt, wliich knew the truth, and for covetousness forsook 
it again, and conspired first with the cardinal to deceive the 
king, and to lead him in darkness ; and afterward, when the 
light was sprung upon them, and had driven them clean out 
of the scripture, and had delivered it out of their tyranny, 
and had expelled the dark stinking mist of their devilish 
glosses, and had wiped away the cobwebs, which those 
poisoned spiders had spread upon the face of the clear text, 
Covetousness SO that the Spiritualty (as they call themselves) were ashamed 
ey'e", Ind ^ of their part, as shameless as they be ; yet for all that, 

blinded the 
eyes, and 
hardened the 
heart of 

heart of sir covetousuess blinded the eyes of that gleering fox more and 

More. more, and hardened his heart against the truth, with the 

confidence of his painted poetry, babbling eloquence, and 
juggling arguments of subtle sophistry, grounded on his 
" unwritten verities ^" as true and as authentic as his story of 
Utopia. Paul therefore biddeth Timothy to charge the rich 
[1 « When they (the Romanists) be not able to prove any of these 
doctrines by the word of God written, then they fly to their univr-itten 
verities; that is, to certain things deHvered, as they say, from the 
apostles by word of mouth, without writing. . . . Whatsoever pleaseth 
them and maketh for their purpose, profit, and lordly ambition, that is 
an tinwritten verity/, not to be gainsaid or denied." — The translator's 
preface to "A Confutation of Unwi-itten Verities," in Archbishop 
Cranmer's Remains, Vol. vi. p. 153. Jenkyn's ed. Oxf. 1833. Vol. ii. 
p. 10, Park. Soc] 

VI. 19 21.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 101 

to believe in the living God, and not in their uncertain riches ; 
for it is impossible for a covetous idolater, or image-server, 
that trusteth in the dead god of his riches, to put his trust in 
the hving God. 

One misery is, that they which here gather and lay up, Thecomm. 
cannot tell for whom. Another is rust, canker, moths, and a follow ^^vi 
thousand misfortunes besides; thieves, extortioners, oppressors, worfdly 
and mighty tyrants, to the which the rich be ever a prey. 
And though they prosper to the end outwardly, yet fear ever 
gnaweth their hearts inwardly. And at the hour of death 
they know and feel that they have gathered nought; and then 
sorrow they, and are like one that dreameth of riches, and in 
the morning, when he findeth nought, is heavy and sorry for 
the remembrance of the pleasant dream. And finally, when 
they be most loth to die, and hope to live long, then they 
perish suddenly ; after the ensample of that rich man, which L^^g ^u. 
intended to make him larger barns and store-houses. Happy 
therefore is he that layeth up treasure in heaven, and is rich 
in faith and good works ; for the reward thereto promised shall 
God keep sure for him : no man can take it away. Here 
is not forbidden to have riches ; but to love it, to trust in it, 
and to be careful for it. For God hath promised to care for 
us, and to give us enough, and to keep that which is gotten, 
if we will care to keep his commandments. Whatsoever office 
or degree thou art in in this world, do the duty of thine office 
dihgently, and trust in God, and let him care. If thou be an 
husbandman, ear^ and sow, and husband thy ground, and let 
God alone for the rest ; he will care to make it grow plente- 
ously, and to send seasonable weather to have it in, and will 
provide thee a good market to sell, &c. 

In like manner, if thou be a king, do the office of a king, 
and receive the duties of the king, and let God care to keep 
thee in thy kingdom. His favour shall do more for thee than 
a thousand milHons of gold. And so of all other: he that hath 
but a little, and is sure that God shall keep both him and it, 
is richer than he which hath thousands, and hath none other 
hope than that he and it must be kept with his own care and 

And, finally, mark one point in Luke xiv: "None of them, lukexiv. 
that refuseth not all that he possesseth, can be my disciple ; " 

[2 Ear: to plow ; as in 1 Sam. viii. 12. Author, version.] 

102 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

that is, he that casteth not away the love of all worldly things, 

can be no scholar of Christ's to learn his doctrine. Then he 

addeth that "salt is good; but, if the salt be unsavoury," or 

hath lost his virtue, "what can be seasoned therewith?" 

covetoiisness Vcrily, nothing. Now, by salt is understood the doctrine; and 

^uofGod-s the meaning is, if ye be covetous and love worldly things, it 

voury. will corrupt the salt of your doctrine, so that whatsoever you 

powder therewith, it shall be more unsavoury than before. 

" Where your treasure is, there are your hearts." If your 
treasure be in the world, so is the love of your hearts. And 
if ye love the world, and the things of the world, the love of 
God is not in you ; and the love of God is the love of his 
commandments : and he that loveth not God's commandments 
shall never preach them truly, because he loveth them not ; 
covetousness but shall corrupt them with glosses, that they may stand with 

inaketh a O ' t/ «/ 

faiseprophet. that whicli his heart loveth, and until they have another sense 
than ever God gave them. Ergo, no covetous person can be 
a true prophet. It is not for nought, then, that Christ so oft 
and so diligently warneth his disciples to beware of covetousness, 
as of that thing which, he wist well, had ever corrupt the word 
of God, and ever should. 

The light of thy body is thine eye : wherefore, if thine eye be single, all 
thy body shall be full of light; but and if thine eye be wicked, then 
shall thy whole body be dark. If therefore the light that is in thee 
be darkness, how great is that darkness ! 

Darkness. Note the conclusiou with a proper similitude. The eye 

is the hght of the body ; and by the light of the eye all other 
members see and are governed. As long as the eye seeth, 
hand and foot do their duties ; neither is there any fear that 
a man should stumble, or fall into fire or water. But if the 
eye be blind, all the body is blind ; and that so bhnd, that 
there is no remedy at all : set a candle before him, he seeth 
not ; give him a lantern in his hand, and yet he goeth not 
straight : bring him out into the sun, and point him unto 
that which thou wouldest have him see ; it booteth not. 
Covetousness Evou SO, if covctousness have blinded the spiritual eye, and 
ness. w. T. pervcrtcd the right intent of the law of God, and of the works 
commanded by God,* and of the sacrifice, ceremonies, and 
sacraments, and of all other ordinances of God, (which intent 
is the spiritual eye,) then is all the doctrine dark, and very 

VI. 22 23.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 103 

blindness: yea, and then how dark is the darkness, when that 
which is pure blindness is believed to be light ! How dark 
is the doctrine of them that teach that a man may comj^el 
God, with the works of free-will, to give him his favour and 
grace ; or make God unrighteous ! How dark is the doctrine 
of them which (to the rebuke of Christ's blood) teach that 
works do justify before God, and make satisfaction for sins! 
How blind are they which think prayer to be the pattering of 
many words ; and will therefore not only be praised and paid 
of the world, but also by the title thereof challenge heaven, 
and not by the merits of Christ's blood ! How dark is the 
doctrine of them whose faith is only and altogether in 
appointments which they themselves have feigned between 
them and God, unto which yet God never subscribed : in 
which also they assign what work, and how much they will 
do, and what reward, and how great, God must give them, or 
choose whether he will be unrighteous. 

How dark is the doctrine of them that say stiffly, that the Darkness. 
work of the sacraments in itself (not referring it to stir up the 
faith of the promises annexed to them) doth justify ; and 
affirm, that bodily pain, for the pain itself, (not referring it 
either to the love of the law of God or of their neighbour,) 
doth please God ! How dark, damnable, and devilish, is the The darkness 
doctrine of them, which not only think lucre to be the service doctr1n''e°Kere 
of God, but also are so far past all shame, that they affirm peareth. 
they be the holy church, and cannot err; and all that they 
decree must be an article of our faith, and that it is damnable 
once to doubt, or search the scripture whether their doctrine 
will thereto agree or no ; but say their decrees must be 
behoved as they sound, how contrary soever the scripture be, 
and the scripture must be expounded and made agree to them. 
They need not to regard the scripture, but to do and say as 
their Holy Ghost moveth them ; and if the scripture be con- 
trary, then make it a nose of wax, and wrest it this way and 
that way, till it agree. 

Faith of works was the darkness of the false prophets, faith in 

^ f works is dark- 

out of the which the true could not draw them. Faith of "«^=- w. t. 

works was the blindness of the Pharisees, out of the which 
neither John Baptist nor Christ could bring them. And 
though John Baptist piped to them with reasons of the scrip- 
ture invincible, and Christ thereto added miracles, yet the 

what It is. 
W. T. 

104 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

Pharisees would not dance. For John Baptist, as thej 
thought, was too mad, to live so strait a life, and to refuse 
to be justified thereby : and as for Christ and his disciples", 
the Pharisees were much holier themselves, fasted oftener, and 
prayed thicker ; yea, and uttered many more words in their 
prayer than they. Faith of works is that belief of the Turks 
and Jews, which driveth them ever away from Christ. Faith 
of works hath been that light of darkness in which a great 
part of us Christen^ have walked ever since Pelagius and 
Faustus^, well about twelve hundred years, and ever more and 
more ; and in which all our religious have walked all, and more 
too, this four or five hundred year ; and in which the priests also 
have walked a long season : the Lord bring them out again ! 
Finally : how dark is the darkness, when a Pharisee and a 
very Pelagian standeth up, and preacheth against the Phari- 
sees and the Pelagians, and is allowed of all the audience! And, 
in conclusion, when the world, ever since it began, hath and 
doth of natural blindness believe in their own works ; then, 
if the scripture be perverted to confirm that error, how sore 
are their hearts hardened, and how deep is that darkness ! 

No man can serve two masters : for he shall either hate the one, and 
love the other; or cleave to the one, and despise the other. Ye 
cannot serve God and mammon. 

Mammon is riches, or abundance of goods. And Christ 
concludeth with a plain similitude, that as it is impossible to 
serve two contrary masters, and as it is impossible to be 
retained unto two divers lords, which are enemies one to the 
other, so is it impossible to serve God and mammon. Two 
masters of one mind and one will might a man serve: for 
if one will, one mind, and one accord be in twenty, then are 
they all but one master. And two masters, where one is under 
the other and a substitute, may a man serve : for the service 
of the inferior is the commandment of the superior ; as to 
serve and obey father, mother, husband, master, and lord, is 
God's commandment. But and if the inferior be of a contrary 
will to the superior, and command any contrary thing, then 

[1 A plural, equivalent to Christians.] 

[2 Pelagius, the noted author of the heresy which hears his name, 
and Faustus, a defender of Manichajism, were propagators of error at 
the close of the fourth century.] 

VT. 24.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 105 

may est thou not obey : for now they be two contrary 
masters. So God and mammon are two contrary masters : 
yea, two contrary gods, and of contrary commandments. Mammon 

God saith: "I thy Lord God am but one, and me shalt''^^° ' 
thou serve alone :" that is, thou shalt love me with all thine 
heart, or with thine whole heart, with all thy soul, and with 
all thy might. Thou shalt neither serve, obey, or love any 
thing save me, and that I bid thee ; and that as far, and no 
farther than I bid thee. 

And mammon saith the same : for mammon will be a 
god also, and served and loved alone. 

God saith : ' See thou love thy neighbour ; that thou 
labour with thine hands to get thy living, and somewhat 
above, to help him.' 

Mammon saith : * He is called thy neighbour, because he 
is nigh thee. Now who is so nigh thee as thyself? Ergo, 
proximus esto tibP : that is, love thyself, and make lewd* 
and vile wretches to labour diligently to get thee as much as 
thou mayest, and some scraps above for themselves. Or wilt 
thou be perfect ? Then disguise thyself, and put on a grey Mammon 
coat, a black or a pied^ and give thyself to devotion; despise f^'/^'^dves 
the world, and take a covetous (I would say a contemplative) '^^ ^• 
life upon thee. Tell the people how hot purgatory is, and 
what pains there must be suffered for small faults. And then 
give mercifully a thousand fold for one, spiritual for temporal : 
give heaven, and take but house and land, and fooHsh tem- 
poral things.' 

God saith : * Judge truly betwQ^n thy brethren, and 
therefore take no gifts.' 

Mammon saith : ' It is good manners, and a point of 
courtesy to take that is offered. And he that giveth thee, 
loveth thee better than such a churl that giveth thee nought ; 
yea, and thou art more bound to favour his cause.' 

God saith : ' Sell and give alms.' 

Mammon saith : ' Lay up, to have enough to maintain 
thine estate, and to defend thee from thine enemies, and 
to serve thee in thine age, &c.' 

[3 Count thyself thy nearest neighbour.] 
[■* Ignorant,] 

[5 Alluding to the different vestments by which different monastic 
orders were distinguished from the laity, and from each other,] 

106 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

Forasmuch then as God and mammon be two so contrary- 
are not of masters, that whosoever will serve God must give up mam- 
church. w.T. mon, and all that will serve mammon must forsake God ; it 
followeth that they which are the sworn servants of mammon, 
and have his holy spirit, and are his faithful church, are not 
the true servants of God, nor have his Spirit of truth in them, 
or can be his true church. 

Moreover, seeing that God and mammon be so contrary, 

that God's word is death in mammon's ear, and his doctrine 

of mammon poisou iTi mammon's mouth ; it followeth that if the ministers 

preach™* 0^ God's word do favour mammon, they will so fashion their 

^' ^' speech, and so sound their words, that they may be pleasant 

in the ears of mammon. 
To be Finally, alonely to have riches is not to be the servant of 

mammon's '' "^ , . . , . , 

servant, what mammon ; but to love it, and cleave to it in thine heart. 
For if thou have goods only to maintain the office which God 
hath put thee in, and of the rest to help thy neighbour's 
need, so art thou lord over thy mammon, and not his servant. 
^i?"!n°how C>f them that be rich, how shalt thou know the master of 
he is^known. j^ammon from the servant ? Verily, first by the getting : 
secondarily, when his poor neighbour complaineth, if he be 
mammon's servant, mammon will shut up his heart and make 
him without compassion. Thirdly, the cross of Christ will try 
them, the one from the other : for when persecution ariseth 
for the word, then will the true servant of Christ bid mammon 
adieu ; and the faithful servant of mammon will utter his 
hypocrisy, and not only renounce the doctrine of Christ, but 
also be a cruel and a sharp persecutor thereof, to put away all 
surmise, and that his fidelity, which he hath in his master 
mammon, may openly appear. 

Therefore I say unto you. Care not for your lives what ye shall eat, or 
what ye shall drink ; neither for your bodies what ye shall put on. 
Is not the life more than meat, and the body more than the 
raiment ? 

He that buildeth a costly house even to the tiling, will 

not leave there, and lose so great cost for so small a trifle 

The goodness more. No more will he that gave thee so precious a soul, 

towards and so beautiful a body, let either of them perish again before 

mankind. i % • n • 

the day, for so small a thing as food or raiment. God never 
made mouth, but he made meat for it ; nor body, but he 

VI. 25 SO.] MATTHEW V. VI, VII. 107 

made raiment also. Howbeit, mammon blindeth our eyes, so 
that we can neither see nor judge aright. 

Behold the fowls of the air, how they sow not, neither reap, nor 
gather into store-houses; and yet your heavenly Father feedeth 
them. And are not ye far better than they ? Wliich of you with 
taking thought is able to put one cubit unto his stature ? 

He that careth for the least of his creatures will much Birds and 

beasts teach 

more care for the greatest. The birds of the air and beasts "'fput 

o away care. 

preach all to us, that we should leave caring, and put our trust ^' ^' 
in our Father. But mammon hath made us so dull and so 
clean without capacity, that none ensample or argument, be it 
never so vehement, can enter the wits of us, to make us see 
or judge aright. Finally, what a madness it is to take 
so great thought for food or raiment, when the wealth, health, 
life of thy body, and all together is out of thy power ! If all 
the world were thine, thou couldest not make thyself one inch 
longer, nor that thy stomach shall digest the meat that thou 
puttest into it. No, thou art not sure that that which thou 
puttest into thy mouth shall go through thee, or whether it 
shall choke thee. Thou canst not make, when thou liest or 
sittest down, that thou shalt arise again ; or when thou 
sleepest, that thou shalt awake again, or that thou shouldest 
live one hour longer. So that he which cared for thee, when 
thou couldest not care, must care for thee still, or else thou 
shouldest perish. And he will not care for thee to thy soul's 
profit, if thou mistrust him and care for thyself. 

And for raiment why take ye thought ? Behold the lilies of the field, 
how they grow : they labour not, neither spin. And yet I say to 
you, that even Salomon in all his glory was not apparelled like one 
of them. Wherefore, if the grass, which is to day in the fields, and 
to-morrow shall be cast into the furnace, God so clothe, how much 
more shall he do the same unto you, O ye of little faith ! 

Not only fowl and beast, but also tree, herb, and all the care. 
flowers of the earth do cry unto us, to trust God ; and to cast 
away care, that is coupled with covetousness of more than 
sufficient to bear the charges which we have in our hands by 
the reason of the state we be in the world, and all care that 
is annexed with mistrust, that God should not minister enough 
to bear all our charges, if we endeavour ourselves to keep 
his commandments, and to do every man his craft or office he 

108 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

is in truly, and (when God, to prove us, suffereth us to have 
need of our neighbours) we first complain to God, and desire 
him to prepare the hearts of our neighbours, against we come 
to desire their help. 

Mammon. But mammou pipeth another song, saying : ' If thou 

shouldest make no other manner of labour for a benefice, 
than as if thou caredst not whether thou hadst it or hadst it 
not, it would be long ere thou gattest one ; all would be taken 
out of thine hand.' I answer : As thy labour was to get it, 
such shall be thy behaviour in it ; as thou flatteredst to have 
it, so shalt thou in it ; and as thou boughtest and soldest to 
get it, so shall thou sell in it, to buy favour and to be set 
by in the world. If thy principal intent, that thou seekest a 
benefice for, be lucre, then take heed to the example of thy 

Acts viii. forefather Simon Magus. Let thy care therefore be to do the 
oflUce that God putteth thee in truly ; and the blessing, that 
he coupleth thereto, that take with thanks, and neither care 
nor covet farther. 

Take no thought therefore, saying, What shall we eat, or what shall 
we drink, or what shall we put on ? All these things the heathen 
seek. Yea, and your heavenly Father knoweth that ye need all 
these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and the righteous- 
ness thereof, and all these things shall be ministered unto you. 

Be not like the heathen, which have no trust in God nor 
his word, nor believe any hfe to come. Let them vex them- 
selves, and each be a devil to another, for worldly things. 
Keep cove- But comfort thou thysolf with the hope of a better life in 
God, and he auother world, ever assured that thou shalt have here suf- 
ther''w"'x ^^^^^^> only if thou keep covenant with the Lord thy God, 
and seek his kingdom and the righteousness thereof above all 
Kingd^omof thiugs. The kingdom of God is the gospel and doctrine of 
^at; ' Christ. And the righteousness thereof is to believe in Christ's 
mJs^i'onhe Wood, for the remission of sins : out of which righteousness 
heaven™ °^ spriugeth love to God, and thy neighbour, for his sake ; 
w." " '^' which is also righteousness, as I have said afore, so far as it is 
perfect, and that which lacketh is supplied by faith in God's 
word, in that he hath promised to accept that, till more come. 
Then followeth the outward righteousness of works, by the 
which, and diligent recording ^ of God's word together, we 

[1 Calling to mind; meditating upon.] 

VI. 31 34-.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 109 

grow and wax perfect, and keep ourselves from going back 
and losing the Spirit again. 

And these have our spiritualty with their corrupt doctrine 
mingled together, (that is to say, the righteousness of the 
kingdom of God, which is faith in Christ's blood, and the 
outward righteousness of the members,) that we ascribe to the 
one that pertaineth to the other. Seek the kingdom of 
heaven therefore, and the righteousness of the same ; and be 
sure thou shalt ever have sufficient, and these things shall be 
ministered unto thee, that is to say, shall come of their own 
accord, by the promise of God ; yea, Christ promiseth thee an 
hundred fold, even in this life, of all that thou leavest for his 
sake. If that were true, would some say, who would not 
rather serve him than mammon ? Yet is it true : for first, if 
thou be servant of mammon, thou must keep thy god, and 
thy god not thee ; and every man, that is stronger than 
thou, will take thy god from thee. Moreover, God will take 
either thee from thy mammon, or thy mammon from thee, 
ere thou wouldest ; to avenge himself of thy blind unkindness, 
that when he hath made thee, and given thee all, thou for- 
sakest him and servest his mortal enemy. But if thou follow ifthoufoi- 
Christ, all the world (and let them take all the devils in hell thou canst 
to them) shall not be able to disappoint thee of a sufficient sufficient 
living. And though they persecute thee from house to house 
a thousand times, yet shall God provide thee of another, with 
all things sufficient to live by. Now compare the surety of 
this with the uncertainty of the other ; and then the blessed 
end of this (that heaven is promised thee also) with the 
miserable departing from the other so sore against thy will, 
and then the desperation that thy heart feeleth that thou art 
already in hell. And then may not this be well called a 
thousand fold more than the other ? 

Care not then for the day following ; but let the day following care Care, 
for itself. For the day that is present hath ever enough of his 
own trouble. 

If thou look well on the covenant that is between thee 
and thy Lord God, on the one side, and the temptations of 
the world, the flesh, and Satan on the other, thou shalt soon 
perceive that the day present hath ever enough to be cared 
for, and for which thou must cry instantly to God for help 




What we 
ought chief- 

Why God 
letteth his 
children be 
tempted with 
W. T. 

also, though thou do thy best. Now then, seeing the day- 
present is overcharged with her own care, what madness is 
it to lade upon her also the care of the day following, yea, 
the care of a year, yea, of twenty years, or as though thou 
never intendest to die, and to torment and vex the soul through 
mistrust and unbelief, and to make thy hfe sour and bitter, 
and as unquiet as the life of the devils in hell ! 

Therefore care day by day and hour by hour earnestly 
to keep the covenant of the Lord thy God, and to record 
therein day and night, and to do thy part unto the uttermost 
of thy power. And as for God's part, let him care for it 
himself; and believe thou his words stedfastly, and be sure 
that heaven and earth shall sooner perish, than one jot bide 
behind of that he hath promised. And for thine own part 
also, care not of that manner as though thou shouldest do 
all alone : nay, God hath first promised to help thee ; 
secondarily, to accept thine heart, and that little that thou 
art able to do, be it never so imperfect ; thirdly, though 
wind, weather, and the stream carry thee clean contrary to 
thy purpose, yet, because thou bidest still in thy profession, 
ready to turn the right course as soon as the tempest is a 
little overblown, God promiseth to forgive that, and not the 
less to fulfil his promises of one jot. 

Doth Christ so defend his, that they never come in danger 
of trouble ? Yes ; they come into such straits oft, that no 
wit nor reason can see any way out, save faith only is sure 
that God hath, and will make a way through. But that 
temptation is but for an hour, to teach them, and to make 
them feel the goodness of their Father, and the passions ^ of 
their brethren, and of their master Christ also. It is but as 
a loving mother, to make her child to perceive and feel her 
kindness, to love her again and be thankful, letteth it hunger 
in a morning; and when it calleth for his breakfast, maketh 
as she heard it not, till for pain and impatience it beginneth to 
cry agood : and then she stilleth it, and giveth it all it asketh, 
and more too, to please it ; and when it is peaced^ and 
beginneth to eat, and rejoiceth and is glad and fain, she 
asketh, 'Who gave thee that, thy mother?' and it saith, 
' Yea.' Then saith she, ' Am not I a good mother, that 

[1 Passions: sufferings.] 
[2 Caused to be at peace.] 

VI, 34.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. Ill 

give thee all things?' And it answereth, 'Yea.' And she 
asketh, ' Wilt thou love thy mother ?' Sec. And it saith, 
' Yea." And so cometh it to the knowledge of his mother's 
kindness, and is thankful. Such is the temptation of Christ's 
elect, and otherwise not. 

Here is not forbidden all manner of care, but that worldly what care is 
and devilish care, that springeth of an inordinate love to w. t. ^'^ 
worldly things and of mistrust in God. As for an ensample : 
I covet inordinately more than sufficient, or but even that I 
have need of; and it (because I mistrust God, and have no 
hope in him, and therefore pray not to him) cometh not. 
Then I mourn, sorrow, and pine away, and am whole unquiet 
in mine heart. Or whether I have too much, or but suf- 
ficient, and love it inordinately, then I care for the keeping : 
and because I mistrust God, and have no hope in him that 
he will help me ; therefore, when I have locked doors, 
chambers, and coffers, I am never the nearer at rest, but care 
still ; and cast a thousand perils, of which the most part were 
not in my might to avoid, though I never slept. And where 
this care is, there can the word of God have no resting-place; 
but is choked up, as soon as it is sown. 

There is another care, that springeth out of the love of 
God (for every love hath her care), and is a care to keep 
God''s commandments. This care must every man have, what care 
For a man liveth not by bread only, but much more by every ought to 
word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. The keeping e^^i^'com. 
of God's commandment is the life of a man, as well in this "|n!^™fe.* ' 
world as in the world to come. As, " Child, obey father and ^" ^' 
mother ; that thou mayest long live on the earth." And by 
father and mother is understood all rulers; which if thou 
obey, thy blessing shall be long life ; and contrary, if thou 
disobey, short life, and shalt either perish by the sword, or 
by some other plague, and that shortly. And even so shall 
the ruler, if he rule not as God hath commanded. " Oppress Excd. xxii. 
thou a widow and fatherless children (saith God), and they 
shall cry to me, and I will hear their voice ; and then will 
my wrath wax hot; so I will smite you with sword, and your 
wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless." 

Some will say, ' I see none more prosper, or longer why God 
continue, than those that be most cruel tyrants.' What then? tyrants to 

" prosper. 

Yet say I that God abideth ever true: for where he setteth w.t. 

112 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

up a tyrant, and continuetli him in prosperity, it is to be a 
scourge to wicked subjects, that have forsaken the covenant 
of the Lord their God ; and unto them his good promises 
pertain not, save his curses only. But if the subjects would 
turn and repent, and follow the ways of God, he would shortly 
deliver them. Howbeit yet, where the superior corrupteth 
the inferior, which else is disposed enough to goodness, God 
will not let them long continue. 


Judge not, that ye be not judged. For as ye judge, so shall ye be 
judged ; and with what measure ye mete, with the same shall it 
be measured to you again. Why lookest thou on the mote that is 
in thy brother's eye, and markest not the beam that is in thine 
own eye ? Or how canst thou say to thy brother, Let me pluck 
out the mote out of thine eye, and, behold, there is a beam in 
thine own eye ? Thou hypocrite, pluck first the beam out of thine 
own eye ; and then thou shalt see clearly to pluck the mote out of 
thy brother's eye. 

Judging. This is not meant of the temporal judgments ; for Christ 

forbade not that, but oft did stablish it; as do Peter and Paul 
in their epistles also. Nor here is it not forbidden to judge 
those deeds which are manifest against the law of God ; for 
those ought every Christian man to persecute, yet must they 
do it after the order that Christ hath set. But when he saith, 
whatjudg- "Hypocrite, cast out first the beam that is in thine own 
bJ.ked?" eye," it is easy to understand of what manner of iudgine: he 

The hypocrites will have fastings, prayings, kneeling, 
crouching, ducking, and a thousand ceremonies of their own 
invention ; and whosoever do not as they do, him they 
count a damned soul by and by. To Christ they say, 
" Why fast not thy disciples, as the Pharisees do ? Why 
pluck they the ears of corn, and rub them in their hands, 
(though they did it compelled with pure hunger,) and do that 
is not lawful on the sabbath-day ? Why break ye the tra- 
ditions of our elders, and wash not when ye sit down to meat? 
Yea, and why dost thou thyself heal the people upon the 
holy day ? Why didst thou not only heal him that was 

VII. 1 5.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 113 

bedrid thirty- eight years, but also badest him bear his bed i^,'(Ji^^Jf|nY^ 
away upon the sabbath-day ? Be there not working days [{'eelfsfwuie 
sufficient to do good deeds to the praise of God, and profit llT^hl^"'^' 
of thy neighbour, but that thou must break thy sabbath-day ? neignbow!"^ 
He cannot be but a damned person, that breaketh the holy 
day, and despiseth the ordinance of the holy church.' 

' He eatetli butter on Fridays, without a dispensation of 
our holy father the pope; yea, and cake-bread, made with 
milk and eggs too, and white meat in the Lent ; he taketh 
no holy water when he cometh to the church ; he heareth 
no mass from Sunday to Sunday. And either he hath no 
beads at all, or else you shall not hear a stone chnk^ in the 
hand of him, nor yet his lips wag all the mass and matins 
while,' &c. " O hypocrite ! Cast out first the beam that is The beam. 
in thine own eye, and then thou shalt see" better. Thou 
understandest all God's laws falsely, and therefore thou keep- 
est none of them truly : his laws require mercy, and not 
sacrifice. Moreover, thou hast a false intent in all the works 
that thou doest, and therefore are they all damnable in the 
sight of God. "Hypocrite! cast out the beam that is in thine 
own eye;" learn to understand the law of God truly, and to 
do thy works aright, and for the intent that God ordained 
them : and then thou shalt see whether thy brother have a 
mote in his eye or not; and if he have, how to pluck it out, 
and else not. 

For he that knoweth the intent of the law and of works, ceremonies: 

he that 

though he observe a thousand ceremonies for his own ex- breaketh 

o unity for zeal 

ercise, he shall never condemn his brother, or break unity °nXTsumi-^^ 

with him, in those things which Christ never commanded, faw."''w.''T.* 

but left indifferent. Or if he see a mote in his brother's 

eye, that he observeth not with his brethren some certain 

ordinance made for a good purpose, because he knoweth not ceremonies. 

the intent ; he will pluck it out fair and softly, and instruct 

him lovingly, and make him well content. Which thing if 

our spiritualty would do, men would not so abhor to obey 

their tyranny : but they be hypocrites, and do and command 

all their works for a false purpose; and therefore judge, slay, 

and shed their brethren's blood mercilessly. God is the father 

[1 Alluding to the custom of measuring the number of aves or 
paternosters uttered, by dropping at the close of each one stone of 
the string of beads.] 

r -1 8 


114 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

of all mercy, and therefore gave not hypocrites such absolute 
power to compel then* brethren to obey what they list, or to 
slay them without pity, shewing either no cause of their com- 
mandments at all, but ' So will we have it !' or else assigning 
an intent damnable and contrary to, all scripture. Paul 

Rom. xiv. (Rom. xiv.) saith to them that observed ceremonies, that they 
should not judge them that did not ; for he that observeth, 
and knoweth not the intent, judgeth at once : and to them 
that observed not, that they should not despise them that 
observed ; he that observeth not ought not to despise the 
weakness or ignorance of his brother, till he perceive that 
he is obstinate and will not learn. 

Measures. Morcovcr, such moasure as thou givest, thou shalt receive 

again : that is, if thou judge thy neighbour, God shall judge 
thee ; for if thou judge thy neighbour in such things, thou 
knowest not the law of God, nor the intent of works, and art 
therefore condemned of God, &c. 

Give not that holy thing unto dogs, neither cast your pearls before 
the swine, lest they tread them under their feet, and the other 
turn again and all-to i tear you. 

Dogs, who The doffs are those obstinate and indurate, which for 

they be, ana o 

fie^cTthereb"'' *^® bUnd zoal of their leaven, wherewith they have soured 
both the doctrine and also the works, maliciously resist the 
truth, and persecute the ministers thereof; and are those 
wolves among which Christ sendeth his sheep, warning them 
not only to be single and pure in their doctrine, but also wise 
and circumspect, and to beware of men : for they should 
bring them before judges and kings, and slay them, thinking 
to do God service therein ; that is, as Paul (to the Romans) 
testifieth of the Jews, for blind zeal to their own false and 
feigned righteousness, persecute the righteousness of God. 

Swine truly The swiuc are they, which, for all they have received 

described. •'/ . ' . "^ .,, . . 

the pure gospel of Christ, will yet continue still in sin, and 
roll themselves in the puddle and mire of their old filthy con- 
versation, and both before the ignorant, and also the weak, 
use the uttermost of their liberty ; interpreting it after the 
largest fashion and most favour of the flesh, as it were the 
pope's pardon; and therewith make that truth evil spoken of, 

[1 An old idiom, which also occurs in Judges ix. 53, Author. Vers., 
as equivalent to entirely or utterly.] 

VII. 6 11.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 115 

that thousands, which else might have been easily won, will 
now not once hear thereof; and stir up cruel persecution, 
which else would be much easier, yea, and sometimes none 
at all. And yet will those swine, when it cometh to the 
point, abide no persecution at all ; but offer themselves willing, 
even at the first chop, for to deny all, ere they be scarcely 
apposed of their doctrine. Therefore, lay first the law of 
God before them, and caU them to repentance : and if thou 
see no hope of mending in them, cease there, and go no 
farther; for they be swine. 

But, alas ! it ever was, and shall be, that the greater 
number receive the words for a newness and curiosity (as 
they say) ; and to seem to be somewhat, and that they have 
not gone to school in vain, they will forthwith, ere they have 
felt any change of living in themselves, be schoolmasters, and 
begin at liberty, and practise openly before their disciples. 
And when the Pharisees see their traditions broken, they 
rage and persecute immediately. And then our new school- 
masters be neither grounded in the doctrine, to defend their 
doings ; nor rooted in the profession of a new life, to suffer 
with Christ, &c. 

Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and ye shall find ; knock, and it 
shall be opened unto you. For all that ask receive ; and he that 
seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 
For what man is there among you, if his son ask him bread, that 
would proflTer him a stone ? Or if he asked him fish, would he 
offer him a sei'pent? If ye then, which are evil, know to give 
good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father 
which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him ! 

First, note of these words, that to pray is God's com- Prayer is a 

, . • ^ t 1 /-I 1 1 command- 

mandment, as it is to believe in God, to love God, or to love ";ent. 

' _ ' _ W. T. 

thy neighbour ; and so are alms and fasting also. Neither 
is it possible to believe in God, to love him, or to love thy 
neighbour, but that prayer will spring out there-hence im- 
mediately. For to believe in God is to be sure that all thou to believe i 
hast is of him, and all thou need est must come of him : which w. t. 
if thou do, thou canst not but continually thank him for his 
benefits, which thou continually, without ceasing, receivest of 
his hand ; and thereto ever cry for help, for thou art ever in 
need, and canst no whence else be holpen. And thy neigh- 
bour is in such necessitv also : wherefore, if thou love him, it 




By prayer 
we win the 
victory only, 
and therefore 
is it of all 
things the 
most neces- 
\V. T. 
Exod. xvii. 

False pro- 
phets, what 
their wicked- 

Thy heart 
must be 
joined with 
thy prayer. 

will compel thee to pity him, and to cry to God for him con- 
tinually, and to thank as well for him as thyself. 

Secondarily, this heaping of so many words together, 
" ask, seek, and knock," signify that the prayer must be 
continual; and so doth the parable of the widow, that sued 
to the wicked judge : and the cause is, that we are ever in 
continual necessity, as I said ; and all our hfe [is] but even 
a warfare and a perpetual battle ; in which we prevail as 
long as we pray, and be overcome as soon as we cease 
praying: as Israel overcame the Amalekites, as long as Moses 
held up his hands in prayer ; and as soon as he had let down 
his hands for weariness, the Amalekites prevailed and had 
the better. Christ warned his disciples at his last supper, 
to have peace in him ; affirming that they should have none 
in the world. The false prophets shall ever impugn the faith 
in Christ's blood, and enforce to quench the true under- 
standing of the law, and the right meaning and intent of all 
the works commanded by God; which fight is a fight above 
all fights. First, they shall be in such number, that Christ's 
true disciples shall be but a small flock in respect of them. 
They shall have works like Christ's ; so that fasting, prayer, 
poverty, obedience, and chastity, shall be the names of their 
profession. For, as Paul saith to the Corinthians, the angels 
or messengers of Satan shall change themselves into angels 
or messengers of light and truth. They shall come in Christ's 
name, and that with signs and miracles ; and have the upper 
hand also, even to deceive the very elect, if it were possible. 
Yea, and beyond all this, if thou get the victory of the false 
prophets, and pluck a multitude out of their hands, there 
shall immediately rise of the same, and set up a new false 
sect against thee. And against all these Amalekites the only 
remedy is to lift up the hands of thy heart to God in con- 
tinual prayer : which hands if thou for weariness once let 
fall, thou goest to the worst immediately. Then, beside the 
fight and conflict of the subtle sophistry, false miracles, dis- 
guised and hypocritish works of these false prophets, cometh 
the dogs and wolves of their disciples, with the servants of 
mammon, and the swine of thine own scholars : against which 
all thou hast no other shield or defence but prayer. Then 
the sins and lusts of thine own flesh, Satan, and a thousand 
temptations unto evil in the world, will either drive thee to 

VII. 7 11.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 117 

the castle and refuge of prayer, or take thee prisoner un- 

Last of all, thy neio-hbour's necessity and thine own will The rich 

^ tl O . . • must pray 

compel thee to cry, " Father, which art in heaven, give us ^°^^j"'y 
our daily bread ;" though thou wert as rich as king Salomon, w- t. 
For Christ commandeth the rich, as well as the poor, to cry 
to God continually for their daily bread ; and if they have 
no such need, then is Christ a deceiver and a mocker. What 
need I to pray thee to give, or lend me, that is in mine own 
possession already ? Is not the first commandment, that there 
is but one God, and that thou put thy whole trust in him ? 
Which if it were written in thine heart, thou shouldest easily 
perceive, and though thou hadst as many thousands as David 
left behind him, and Salomon heaped more to them, that 
thou hadst no more than the poor beggar that goeth from 
door to door; yea, and that the beggar (if that commandment 
be written in his heart) is sure that he is as rich as thou. 

For first, thou must knowledge that thou hast received 
that great treasure of the hand of God. Wherefore, when 
thou fetchest an halfpenny thereof, thou oughtest to give God 
thanks in thine heart for the gift thereof. 

Thou must confess, also, that God only hath kept it and 1°^^^^^ 
thee that same night, and ever before ; or else be an idolater, peser'ved, 
and put thy trust in some other thing than God. And thou JeanJthan'^ 
must confess, that God only must keep it and thee, the day i/oiatry'' '^ 
and night following, and so continually after ; and not thine 
own wit or power, or the wit or power of any other creature 
or creatures. For if God kept it not for thee, it would be 
thine own destruction, and they that help thee to keep it 
would cut thy throat for it. There is no king in Christendom 
so well beloved, but he hath enow of his own evil subjects (if 
God kept them not down with fear) that would at one hour 
rise upon him and slay him, to make havoc of all he hath. 
Who is so well beloved throughout all England, but that 
there be enow in the same parish, or nigh about, that would, 
for his good, wish him to hell if they could, and would with 
their hands destroy him, if God kept him not, and did^ cast 
fear on the other ? 

Now, then, if God must ever keep it for thee, and thou 
\} That is, did not keep him and cast fear, &c.] 

Faith must 
be joined to 

118 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

must daily receive It of his hand (as a poor man doth receive 
his alms of another man), thou art in no more surety of 
thy daily bread, no, though thou were a cardinal, than 
the poorest is. Wherefore, howsoever rich thou be, yet 
must thou ever cry to God for thy daily bread. So now 
it is a commandment to pray, and that continually ; short, 
thick, and oft, as the psalms be, and all the prayers of 
the bible. 

Finally, the third is, that we be commanded to pray 
our prayer, ^i^h faith aud trust ; and that we beheve in the Lord our 
God, and doubt not in his promises, unto which Christ in- 
duceth us with an apt similitude, saying, " If ye being evil 
can give good things unto your children, how much more 
shall God fulfil his promises of mercy unto his children, if 
they cry unto him ! " He is better and more merciful than 
all men. Wherefore, seeing God commandeth thee to pray, 
and forasmuch as thou hast so great necessity so to do, and 
because he is merciful, and hath promised and is true, and 
cannot deny his own words ; therefore pray ; and when thou 
prayest, look not on thine unworthiness, but on his command- 
ment, mercy, and goodness, and on his truth and faithfulness, 
and believe stedfastly in him. Moreover, whatsoever thou 
hast done, yet if thou repent and will amend, he promiseth 
Thoj'RJjGod that he will not think on thy sins. And though he defer 
mUst'^thoIT' thee, think it not long, nor faint not in thy faith, or be slack 
in thy prayer : for he will surely come and give thee more 
than thou desirest, though he defer for thy profit, or change 
thy request into a better thing. 

All things, therefore, whatsoever ye would men should do to you, so 
do ye to them. This is, verily, the law and the prophets. 

This is a short sermon, that no man need complain that 
he cannot, for the length, bear it away. It is so nigh thee, 
^^!jfs. that thou needest not to send over sea for it. It is with thee, 
that thou needest not to be importune upon master doctor, 
saying, ' Sir, I pray you, what say ye to this case and to 
that ; and is not this lawful, and may I not so do, and so, 
well enough?' Ask thine own conscience, what thou may est 
or oughtest to do. Wouldest thou men did so with thee? 
then do it. Wouldest thou not be so dealt with ? then do it 

not faint. 

How to soil 

VII, 12.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 119 

not. Thou wouldest not that men should do thee wrong and 
oppress thee : thou wouldest not that men should do thee 
shame and rebuke, lie on' thee, kill thee, hire thine house- 
from thee, or tice thy servant away, or take against thy 
will aught that is thine. Thou wouldest not that men should ^'ote. 
sell thee false ware, when thou puttest them in trust to make 
it ready, or lay it out for thee ; nor thou wouldest not that 
men should deceive thee with great oaths, swearing that to 
be good which indeed is very naught : thou wouldest not, 
also, that men should sell thee ware that is naught and too 
dear, to undo thee. Do no such things, then, to thy neigh- 
bour. But as loth as thou wouldest be to buy false ware, 
or too dear, for undoing thyself, so loth be thou to sell false 
ware, or too dear, for undoing thy neighbour. And in all 
thy needs how glad thou wouldest be to be holpen, so glad 
be to help thy neighbour. And so, in all cases, examine 
thy conscience, and ask her what is to be done, in all doubts 
between thy neighbour and thee ; and she will teach thee, 
except thou be more filthy than a swine, and altogether 

He saith here, " This is the law and the prophets." And Note. 
he saith, " Thou shalt love thy Lord God with all thine Matt. xxu. 
heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind :" and, as 
Mark addeth, " with all thy might, and thy neighbour as Law what 

' J & ' J & the fulfilling 

thyself. In these two commandments hangeth the whole law ^'^'■^^'^• 
and the prophets." And Paul (Rom. xiii. and Gal. v.) saith, 
that " love is the fulfilling of the law." And it is written, 
that " Christ is" the fulfilHng or " end of the law." To make 
all these agree, this thou must understand ; that to love God 
purely is the final and uttermost end of all the law and the 
prophets. To love thy neighbour is the end of all laws that The end of 

• , 1 1-11 11 all laws 

IS between man and man : as are, kill not, steal not, bear no between 

' ' ' ' man and 

that is his, &c. Christ is the fulfilling of the law for us, 
where we be imperfect; and when we break and repent, 
his fulfilling is imputed unto us. And this text, " This is the 
law and the prophets," mayest thou understand as when 
Paul saith, "Love is the fulfilling of the law:" that is, to 
[1 On is used for of ov against.] 

love thy 
as thyself. 

120 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

do as thou wouldest be done to, is all the law that is between 
thee and thy neighbour ; and that according to the true 
understanding and interpreting of all true prophets. 

Enter in at the strait gate : for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, 
that leadeth to destruction, and many they be that go in thereat. 
But strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, that leadeth unto life, 
and few they be that find it. 

The strait gate is the true knowledge and understanding 
of the law, and of the true intent of works : which whoso- 
ever understandeth, the same shall be driven to Christ, to 
fetch of his fulness, and to take him for his righteousness 
and fulfilling of the law, altogether at the beginning, and as 
oft as we fall afterward, and for more than the thousandth 
part of our fulfilling of the law and righteousness of our best 
works all our life long. For except the righteousness of 
Christ be knit to the best deed we do, it will be too short 
to reach to heaven. 

And the narrow way is to live after this knowledge. 
He that will enter in at this gate must be made anew : his 
head will else be too great ; he must be untaught all that he 
hath learned, to be made less for to enter in ; and disused 
in all things to which he hath been accustomed, to be made 
less, to walk through that narrow way ; where he shall find 
such an heap of temptations, and so continual, that it shall 
be impossible to endure or to stand, but by prayer of strong 

And note another ; that few find the way. Why ? For 
y^''j''y- their own wisdom, their own power, and the reasons of their 
own sophistry, blind them utterly : that is to say, the light 
of their own doctrine which is in them, is so extreme dark- 
ness that they cannot see. ' Should God let his church err,' 
say they ? ' Should our elders have gone out of the way ? 
Should God have let the devil do these miracles,' and so 
forth ? And when Christ saith, " Few shall find the gate ;" 
' Yea,' say they, ' in respect of the Turks and Saracens, 
which are the greater multitude.' Yea, but yet hear a Httle: 
the scribes and Pharisees, which had all the authority over 
the people, and taught out of the scripture, and the Sad- 
ducees, with all other false prophets that were when Christ 

The narrow 
way. W. T. 

Few find the 
narrow way, 

■VII. 13 20.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 121 

came, were no Turks nor Saracens ; neither had God any 
other church than was among them. And St Peter pro- Peter, 
phesieth that it shall be so among us ; and that we shall be 
drawn with false sects, of covetousness to deny Christ ; as 
we now do, and believe no more in him. And Paul and Paul. 
Christ confirm the same ; that the elect should be deceived, chnst. 
if it were possible. Moreover, if it were enough to say, I 
will believe and do as mine elders have done, as though they 
could not err ; then was Christ to blame for to say, that 
except thou forsake father, mother, and thine elders, thou 
couldest not be his disciple. Christ must be thy master, 
and thou must be taught of God ; and therefore oughtest 
thou to examine the doctrine of thine elders by the word 
of God. For the great multitude, that Christ meaneth, are 
the false prophets and them that follow them : as it shall 
better appear hereafter. 

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing ; but 
are within ravening wolves. By their fruits ye shall know them. 
Do men gather grapes of thoi-ns, either figs of briers? Even so 
every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree 
bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, 
nor a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth 
not forth good fruit, is to be hewn down and to be cast into the 
fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 

Here Christ warneth thee, and describeth unto thee those xhe raise 
captains that should so blind the great multitude that they who^. ""' 

W. T. 

should not find the strait gate, and lead them the broad 
way to perdition. Note first, that though they be false, yet 
he calleth them prophets ; which word in the new testament 
is taken for an expounder and an interpreter of scripture. 
And he saith, " They shall come to you," my disciples. 
Then they must be our preachers and our doctors. Yea, 
verily, they must be those our false preachers, which Peter 
prophesied should be among us, and bring in damnable sects, 
for to fulfil and satisfy their covetousness, and follow the way 
aad steps of their father Balaam. And they shall come 
thereto in sheep's clothings : ergo, they be neither the Turks 
nor yet Saracens. For they come clothed in iron and steel ; 
and will thereto suffer us to keep our faith, if we will submit 
ourselves to them, as the Greeks do. And as for the Jews, 

122 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

they be an hundred times fewer than we, and are every- 
where in bondage, yea, and for the great part captives unto 
us. They also be not clothed in sheep's skins; but maintain 
openly their faith, clean contrary to ours. 
sheep'sciqth- But what are thcso sheep's clothings? Truly the very 
mcaneth. name of Christ. For saith Christ, "There shall come many 
Mattxxiv. in niy name, and deceive many." And besides that, they 
shall do miracles in Christ's name ; as it followeth in the text, 
that they shall call Christ, Master, Master, and begin their 
sermon, saying : ' Our master Christ saith in such a chapter, 
Whatsoever ye bind upon earth shall be bound in heaven; see, 
friends, these be not our words, but our master Christ's.' And 
they shall do miracles in Christ's name thereto, to confirm the 
false doctrine which they preach in his name. O fearful and 
terrible judgment of Almighty God, and sentence of extreme 
rigorousness upon all that love not the truth, when it is preached 
them, that God, to avenge himself of their unkindness, shall 
send them so strong delusions, that doctrine should be preached 
unto them in the name of Christ, and made seem to follow 
out of his words, and be confirmed with miracles done in calling 
upon the name of Christ, to harden their hearts in the faith 
2The5s.ii. of Hcs, according to the prophecy of Paul to the Thessalonians, 

in the second epistle ! 
fn^?^wf T?^' Another of their sheep's coats is, that they shall in every 
sermon preach mightily against the scribes and Pharisees, 
against Faustus and Pelagius, with such like heretics; which 
yet never preached other doctrine than they themselves do. 
And more of their clothing is, they shall preach that Christ 
preached alms, prayer, and fasting; and profess obedience, 
poverty, and chastity; works that our Saviour Christ both 
preached and did. Finally, they be holy church, and cannot 
vowe""^ T ^"^ ^^^y ^^ within ravening wolves. They preach to 

other, " Steal not;" yet they themselves rob God of his honour, 
and take from him the praise and profit of all their doctrine 
and of all their works. They rob the law of God of her 
mighty power, wherewith she driveth all men to Christ; and 
make her so weak, that the feeble free-will of man is not able 
to wrestle with her, without calling to Christ for help. 

They have robbed Christ of all his merits, and clothed 

VII, 15 20.] MATTHEW V, VI. VII. 123 

themselves therewith. They have rohbed the soul of man of 
the bread of her Hfe, the faith and trust in Christ's blood ; and 
have fed her with the shales^ and cods of the hope in their 
merits and confidence in their good works. 

They have robbed the works commanded by God of the 
intent and purpose that they were ordained for. And with 
their obedience they have drawn themselves from under the 
obedience of all princes and temporal laws. With their Theobedi- 

1 111111 • ii'i 1 enee.pover- 

poverty they have robbed all nations and kmgdoms; and so t.y.j and w,i- ^ 
with their wilful poverty have enriched themselves, and have "" "■ ^^^'x"*'" 
made the commons poor. With their chastity they have filled 
all the world full of whores and sodomites, thinking to please 
God more highly with keeping of a whore than an honest 
chaste wife. If they say it is not truth, then all the world 
knoweth they lie; for if a priest marry an honest wife, they 
punish him immediately, and say he is an heinous heretic, as 
though matrimony were abominable : but if he keep a whore, 
then is he a good chaste child of their holy father the pope, 
whose ensample they follow; and I warrant him sing mass 
on the next day after, as well as he did before, without either 
persecution or excommunication : such are the laws of their 
unchaste (I would say their own chaste) father. 

If thou profess obedience, why runnest thou from father, obedience. 
mother, master, and ruler, which God biddeth thee to obey, 
to be a friar ? If thou obey, why obeyest thou not the king 
and his law, by whom God defendeth thee both in life and 
goods, and all thy great possessions ? 

If thou profess poverty, what doest thou with the lands of Poverty. 
gentlemen, squires, knights, barons, earls, and dukes ? What, 
should a lord's brother be a beggar's servant ? Or what, 
should a beggar ride with three or four score horses waiting 
on him ? Is it meet that a man of noble birth, and the right 
heir of the lands which thou possessest, should be thine horse- 
keeper, thou being a beggar ? 

If ye profess chastity, why desire ye above all other men chastity. 
the company of women ? What do ye with whores openly in 
many countries, and with secret dispensations to keep con- 

[1 It appears from a sentence which presently follows, where he uses 
the expression shales without kernels, that this word is equivalent to 
shells. 1 

124 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

cubines? Why corrupt ye so much other men's wives? And 
why be there so many sodomites camong you ? 

Charity. Your charity is merciless to the rest of the world, to whom 

ye may give nought again ; and only liberal to yourselves (as 
is the charity of thieves) thirty or forty of you together in. one 
den: among which yet are not many that love three of his 
neighbours heartily. 

Fasting. Your fastiug maketh you as full and as fat as your hides 

can hold ; beside that ye have a dispensation of your holy 
father for your fasting. 

Prayer. Your prayer is but pattering without all affection ; your 

singing is but roaring to stretch out your maws (as do your 
other gestures and rising at midnight), to make the meat sink 
to the bottom of the stomach, that he may have perfect 
digestion, and be ready to devour afresh against the next 

Thorns bear "Ye shall kuow them by their fruits." First, thorns bear 

nohg!,. . . ^^ gpg^peg^ jjQj. briers figs. Also, if thou see goodly blossoms 
in them, and thinkest there to have figs, grapes, or any fruit 

Theanswerof for the sustenaucc or comfort of man, go to them in time of 

such as shall ncod, and thou shalt find nought at all. Thou shalt find, 

desire relief at i i • i • 

their hands. ' j^ orsooth 1 havc uo goods, uor any thmg proper, or that is 
mine own. It is the convent's. I were a thief if I gave it my 
father, whatsoever need he had. It is St Edmund's patrimony, 
St Alban's patrimony, St Edward's patrimony, the goods of 
holy church ; it may not be minished, nor occupied upon lay 
and profane uses.' The king of the realm, for all that he 
defendeth them above all other, yet getteth he nought, what 
need soever he have, save then only when he must spend on 
their causes all that they give, with all that he can get beside 
of his poor commons. If the king will attempt to take aught 
from them, by the authority of his office, for the defence of 
the realm ; or if any man will entreat them otherwise than 
they lust themselves, by what law or right it be, they turn to 
thorns and briers, and wax at once rougher than a hedgehog ; 
and will sprinkle them with the holy water of their maledictions 
as thick as hail, and breathe out the lightning of excommuni- 
cation upon them, and so consume them to powder. 

Acorrupttree Morcovcr "a coiTupt trco cau bear no good fruit:" that is, 

bearcth no <> • 7 i i i 

cood fruit, where they have fruit that seemeth to be good, go to and prove 

VII. 15 ^20.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 125 

it, and thou shalt find it rotten, or the kernel eaten out, and 

that it is but as a hollow nut. For faith in Christ (that we Faith is the 

and all our works, done within the compass of the law of God, ^"^".1"°?^ t 

be accepted to God for his sake) is the kernel, the sweetness, 

and the pleasant beauty of all our works in the sight of God; 

as it is written, "This is the work of God, that ye beheve inJ°hnvi. 

him whom he hath sent." This faith is a work which God 

not only worketh in us, but also hath therein pleasure and 

delectation, and in all other for that faith's sake. 

Faith is the life of man, as it is written, Justus ex fide Faith maketh 

the work 

vivit^ ; out of which life the pleasantness of all his works spring. go<"i ami 

i . . acceptable. 

As for an ensample, thou art a shoe-maker ; which is a work ^- ^'• 
within the laws of God ; and sayest in thine heart, ' Lo, God, 
here I make a shoe as truly as I would for myself, to do my 
neighbour service, and to get my living in truth with the 
labour of mine hands, as thou commandest ; and thank thee 
that thou hast given me this craft, and makest it lucky, that I 
get my living therewith ; and am surely persuaded that both 
I and my work please thee, Father, for thy Son Jesus' 
sake.' Lo, now this faith hath made this simple work 
pleasant in the sight of God. 

Another ensample: thou takest a wife, and sayest, 'O An example 

i ' <J ' how thy 

Father, thou not only permittest this, but also commandest all work or deed 

' «/ r ' may be 

that burn, and have their minds unquieted, to marry for fear ^ietpubiJ'"'' 
of fornication, and so forth. And, Father, I promise thee to '^^^""'^ ^°^" 
love this woman truly ; and to care for her, and govern her 
after thy laws ; and to be true to her, and to stand by her 
in all adversities ; and to take in worth as well the evil as the 
good, and to bring up the fruit, that thou shalt give me of 
her, in thy fear, and teach it to know thee.'^ 

The will that Abraham had to slay Isaac, and all that he 
did till he came at the very point to slay him, were good 
works ; and so had been the slaying also. And Abraham was 
sure that he pleased God highly, and as well as in any other 
work, and had as deeply sinned if he had been disobedient 
therein, as though he had done any other cruel deed, for- 
bidden by God. ' Yea, but shoe-making is not commanded 

[1 The just liveth by faith.] 

[2 The next illustration has been omitted ; as tui'ning upon a sub- 
ject too indelicate for profitable contemplation.] 

of God. 

126 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

Handycrafts \)j God.' Yes ; and hath the promise of God annexed 
mandment theroto. For God hath commanded me, for the avoidmg of 
sin, to do my brethren service, and to hve thereby, and 
to choose one estate or other. For if thou wouldest receive 
only of thy brethren, and do nought again, thou were a thief, 
and an extortioner, and a tyrant. And I choose shoe-making ; 
or receive it at tlie obedience of mine elders. Now have I 
God's commandment to work therein truly ; and his promise 
annexed thereto, that he will bless mine occupation, and make 
it lucky and fruitful, to bring me an honest living. Work I 
not new at God's commandment, and have his promise that it 
pleaseth him ? 

Note this also : First, my craft is God's commandment. 
Secondarily, I beheve, and am sure, that my work pleaseth 
God for Christ's sake. Thirdly, my work is profitable unto 
my neighbour, and helpeth his necessity. Fourthly, I receive 
my reward of the hand of God with thanks ; and work, surely 
certified that I please God in my work through Christ, and 
that God will give me my daily bread thereby. 

But if thou examine their doctrine, thou shalt find that 
this faith is away in all their fruits ; and therefore are they 
worm-eaten, and shales without kernels. 
The Jews and Notc again : the Turks and Jews give alms as well as we, 
,iimsas^we and as much, and yet abominable, for lack of faith and 
laVof faith kuowlcdge of tlio truc intent. What saith the text? "He 
liable. that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet, shall have 

the reward of a prophet." That is, because thou aidest him 
in preaching of Christ's word, thou shalt be partaker with him 
and have the same reward. And, " He that receiveth a dis- 
ciple in the name of a disciple, shall have," &c. And, " He 
that giveth one of these little ones but a cup of cold water for 
my name's sake, shall have his reward." If a king minister 
his kingdom in the faith of this name, because his subjects be 
his brethren and the price of Christ's blood, he pleaseth God 
highly ; and if this faith be not there, it pleaseth him not. 
And if I sew a shoe truly, in the faith of his name, to do my 
brother service, because he is the price of Christ's blood, 
it pleaseth God. Thus is faith the goodness of all works. 
God is as well Finally, when God giveth, and I receive with thanks, is 

pleased when " o ' ' 

ftiuy^weive ^^^ ^^^ ^^ ^®^^ plcascd as when I give for his sake, and he 

VII. 15 20.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 127 

receiveth ? A true friend is as glad to do his friend a good ws benefits, 

TTTi r ^ • 1 1 • ^^ when we 

turn, as to receive a good turn. vVlien the lather giveth his d? give for 

' O _ o _ his sake. 

son a new coat, and saith, ' Am not I a good father, and wilt 
not thou love me again, and do what I bid thee?' and the 
boy receiveth it with thanks, and saith, ' Yea ; ' and is glad 
and proud thereof; doth not the father rejoice as much now 
in the lad, as another time when the lad doth whatsoever it 
be at his father's commandment? But the false prophets do 
well to paint God after the hkeness of their own visenomy ^ : glad 
when he receiveth, yea, when they receive in his name ; but 
sour, grudging, and evil content when he giveth again. But 
thou pleasest God when thou askest in faith, and when thou 
receivest with thanks, and when thou rejoicest in his gifts, 
and lovest him again, to keep his commandments, and the 
appointment and covenant made between him and thee. 

And for a conclusion, besides that they expel faith, which Hypocrites 
is the goodness oi all works, they set up works of their own 
making ; to destroy the works of God, and to be holier than works of God. 
God's works, to the despising of God's works, and to make 
God's works vile. 

With their chastity they destroy the chastity that God 
ordained, and only requireth. With their obedience they 
destroy the obedience that God ordained in this world, and 
desireth no other. With their poverty they destroy the 
poverty of the spirit, which Christ taught only ; which 
is, only not to love worldly goods. With their fast they 
destroy the fast which God commandeth, that is, a perpetual 
soberness to tame the flesh. With their pattering prayer 
they destroy the prayer taught by God, which is either 
thanks, or desiring help, with faith and trust that God 
heareth me. 

Their holiness is to forbid that God ordained to be re- xhehouness 

^ • 1 ^ 1 • • 1 • 111- of hypocrites, 

ceived with thanksgiving, as meat and matrimony. And their ?^erein it is. 
own works they maintain, and let God's decay. Break theirs, 
and they persecute to the death : but break God's, and they 
either look through the fingers, or else give thee a flap with 
a fox- tail, for a little money. There is none order among 
them that is so perfect, but that they have a prison more 
cruel than any jail of thieves and murderers. And if one of 
[1 Physiognomy.] 




Ask the Aus- 
tin Friars, 
why they 
one of their 
fellows at 
W. T. 

1 Cor. ii. 
Who is the 

their brethren commit fornication or adultery in the world, he 
finisheth his penance therein in three weeks or a month ; and 
then is sent to another place of the same religion ^ But if he 
attempt to put off the holy habit, he cometh never out, 
and is so straitly dieted thereto, that it is marvel if he live a 
year ; beside other cruel murder that hath been found among 
them : and yet is this shameful dieting of theirs murder cruel 

Be not deceived with visors ^ nor yet with miracles. 
But go to, and judge their works ; for " the spiritual judgeth 
all things," saith Paul. Who is that spiritual ? Not such as 
we now call men of holy church ; but all that have the true 
interpretation of the law written in their hearts, the right 
faith of Christ, and the true intent of works, which God 
biddeth us work : he is spiritual, and judgeth all things, and 
is judged of no man. 

Not all that say to me. Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of 
heaven; but he that fulfiUeth the will of my Father which is in 
heaven. Many will say unto me at that day, Lord, did we not pro- 
phesy in thy name? and in thy name cast out devils? and did we 
not in thy name many miracles ? Then will I confess unto them, I 
never knew you ; depart from me, ye workers of iniquity. 

This doubling of "Lord" hath vehemency ; and betokeneth 
that they which shall be excluded are such as think them- 
selves better and perfecter than other men, and to deserve 
heaven with holy works, not for themselves only, but also 
for other. And by that^ they prophesied, by which thou 
mayest understand the interpreting of scripture ; and by that 
they cast out devils, and did miracles in Christ's name, (and 
for all that, they are yet workers of wickedness, and do not 
the will of the Father which is in heaven,) it is plain that 
they be false prophets ; and even the same of which Christ 
warned before. 

And now, forasmuch as Christ and his apostles warn us 

[1 Monastic order.] 

[2 L. has visures, i.e. visors, and this agrees with what follows 
below: but D. has visions.] 

[3 By that, or as we should say. Inasmuch as. The same idiom occurs 
in our 13th Article, "For that they are not done."] 

VII. 21 27.] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 129 

that such shall come, and describe us the fashions of their ignorance 

excusetli not, 

visors, (Christ's name, holy church, holy fathers, and '*'^'^)j;A"^°' 

fifteen hundred years, with scripture and miracles,) and 

command us to turn our eyes from their visors, and consider 

their fruits, and cut them up, and look within whether they 

be found in the core and kernel or no, and give us a rule to 

try them by ; is it excuse good enough to say, ' God will not 

let so great a multitude err ; I will follow the most part, and 

believe as my fathers did, and as the preachers teach, and 

will not busy myself: choose they, the fault is theirs, and 

not ours ; God shall not lay it to our charge if we err ?' 

Where such words be, there are the false prophets False 
already. For where no love to the truth is, there are the h'>«' to know 

" where tliev 

false prophets. And where such words be, there to be no ^^ 'w- '^■ 
love to the truth, is plain ; ergo, Avhere such words be, there 
be the false prophets in their full swing, by Paul's rule 2 Thess. a. 
(2 Thess. ii.). Another conclusion: where no love to the truth 
is, there be false prophets; the greatest of the world have 
least love to the truth : ergo, the false prophets be the chap- 
lains of the greatest, which may with the sword compel the 
rest ; as the kings of Israel compelled to worship the golden 
calves. And by false prophets understand false teachers, as 
Peter calleth them, and wicked expounders of the scripture. 

Whosoever hearetli these words of me and doetli them, I will liken 
him unto a wise man that built his house upon a rock : and there 
fell a rain, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon 
that house ; but it fell not, for it was grounded upon a rock. And 
all that hear of me these words, and do them not, shall be likened 
unto a foolish man, that built his house upon the sand : and there 
fell a rain, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and dashed 
upon that house, and it fell ; and the fall thereof was great. 

Christ hath two sorts of hearers, of which neither nother ^ ^"r^f^^^^ 
do thereafter. The one will be saved by faith of their own ^ork^s''"'' 
making, without works ; the other with work^ of their own rreb^au 01?' 
making, without faith. The first are those voluptuous, which ^"''" ^^' ^* 
have yielded themselves up to sin, saying, ' Tush, God is 
merciful, and Christ died for us; that must save us only, 

[4 D. has neither of them; but L. and a small octavo edition, with- 
out date (probably by Copland, about 1540), have neither nother; i. e. 
neither the one nor the other.] 

[tyndale, II.J 

130 EXPOSITION OF [chap. 

for we cannot but sin without resistance.' The second are 
the hypocrites ; which will deserve all with their own 
imagined works only. And of faith they have no other ex- 
perience, save that it is a little meritorious where it is painful 
to be believed : as that Christ was born of a virgin, and that 
he came not out the way that other children do ; — fie, no, that 
were a great inconvenience : but above, under her arm, and 
yet made no hole, though he had a very natural body, and 
as other men have ; — and that there is no bread in the sacra- 
ment, nor wine, though the five wits say all yea. And the 
meritorious pain of this belief is so heavy to them, that 
except they had feigned them a thousand wise similitudes 
and lousy likenesses, and as many mad reasons to stay them 
withal, and to help to captivate their understanding, they 
were like to cast all off their backs. And the only refuge 
of a great many, to keep in that faith, is to cast it out of 
their minds, and not to think upon it : as though they for- 
give not, yet if they put the displeasure out of their minds, 
and think not of it till a good occasion be given to avenge it, 
they think they love their neighbour well enough all the 
while, and be in good charity. 
Therapists And the faith of the best of them is but like their faith 

nave that 

^^'"'iorks"' ^^ other worldly stories. But the faith, which is trust and 

own ' 

in Jesus 

^ouiVhav^e confidence to be saved, and to have their sins forgiven by 
Christ, which was so born, have they not at all : that faith 
have they in their own works only. But the true hearers 
understand the law as Christ interpreteth it here, and feel 
thereby their righteous damnation ; and run to Christ for 
succour, and for remission of all their sins that are past, and 
for all the sin which chance, through infirmities, shall compel 
them to do, and for remission of that the law is too strong 
for their weak nature. 

And upon that they consent to the law, love it, and 
profess it, to fulfil it to the uttermost of their power, and 
then go to and work. Faith, or confidence in Christ's blood, 
without help, and before the works of the law, bringeth all 
manner of remission of sins, and satisfaction. Faith is mother 
of love ; faith accompanieth love in all her works, to fulfil as 
much as there lacketh, in our doing the law, of that perfect 
,love which Christ had to his Father and us, in his fulfilling 

Vir. 24 29 ] MATTHEW V. VI. VII. 131 

of the law for us. Now, when we be reconciled, then is love 
and faith together our righteousness, our keeping the law, 
our continuing, our proceeding forward in the grace which 
we stand in, and our bringing to the everlasting saving and 
everlasting life. And the works be esteemed of God accord- 
ing to the love of the heart. If the works be great, and love 
little and cold, then the works be regarded thereafter of God. 
If the works be small, and love much and fervent, the works 
be taken for great of God. 

And it came to pass, that when Jesus had ended these sayings, the 
people were astonished at his doctrine : for he taught them as one 
having power, and not as the scribes. 

The scribes and Pharisees had thrust up the sword of the 
word of God into a scabbard or sheath of glosses, and 
therein had knit it fast, that it could neither stick ' nor cut ; 
teaching dead works without faith and love, which are the 
life and the whole goodness of all works, and the onlj thing 
why they please God. And therefore their audience abode 
ever carnal and fleshly-minded, without faith to God and 
love to their neighbours. 

Christ's words were spirit and life : that is to say, they john yi. 
ministered spirit and life, and entered into the heart, and 
grated on the conscience : and, through preaching the law, 
made the hearers perceive their duties ; even what love they 
owed to God, and what to man, and the right damnation of 
all them that had not the love of God and man written in 
their hearts ; and, through preaching of faith, made all that 
consented to the law of God feel the mercy of God in Christ, 
and certified them of their salvation. For " the word of God Heb. iv. 
is a two-edged sword, that pierceth and divideth the spirit 
and soul of man asunder." A man before the preaching of 
God's word is but one man, all flesh ; the soul consenting 
unto the lusts of the flesh, to follow them. But the sword The word of 
of the word of God, where it taketh effect, divideth a man it'take'th^'^^ 
in two, and setteth him at variance against his own self ; the divideth a 

o man into two 

flesh haling one way, and the spirit drawing another ; the Pf^sljh'^he''' 
flesh ragmg to follow lusts, and the spirit calhng back again, onfJay!'"*'* 
to follow the law and will of God. A man, all the whUe fo"drar'''"' 


[1 Old English for pierce.] 


he conscnteth to the flesh, and before he be born again in 
Christ, is called soul ^ or carnal : but when he is renewed 
in Christ through the word of life, and hath the love of 
God and of his neighbour, and the faith of Christ written in 
his heart, ho is called spirit or spiritual^. The Lord of all 
mercy send us preachers with power ; that is to say, true 
expounders of the word of God, and speakers to the heart of 
man ; and deliver us from scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites, and 
all false prophets ! Amen. 

[1 yj/vxKov. 1 Cor. xv. 46.] 
[2 TTVfVfiaTiKov. Id. ibid.] 











[An ancient edition of the following exposition is preserved in the 
library of St Paul's Cathedral, and has been collated for the present 
editor by George OfFor, Esq. Its peculiar readings will be distinguished 
by the letters P. C. L. ; whilst those found in Day's less ancient 
edition of Tyndale's works will be denoted by the letter D. In the 
former, Tyndale is found to have systematically avoided giving the 
Roman pontiff the title of pope ; but in Day's reprint his editor John 
Foxe has with like regularity substituted pope for the words ' bishop 
of Rome,' or for any other periphrasis to the same purport. Another 
diflPerence is, that in the older copy the relative pronoun which is fre- 
quently found with the prefixed ; whilst Day has modernised this idiom 
by omitting the. In the present edition Tyndale's manner of desig- 
nating the pope will be restored; but the obsolete idiom connected 
with which will be relinquished, after Day's example; and these two 
repeatedly recurring variations will not be farther noticed at the foot 
of the page. 

But, besides these unimportant differences, the volume in the 
cathedral library contains an exposition of the second and third 
epistles of St John, printed on the same paper and in the same type, 
and followed by a table, or index, with references to the expositions of 
all the three, as to one work ; whilst the want of a title-page prevents 
us from knowing whether its editor announced the whole as Tyndale's, 
or informed the public that the exposition of the two less epistles had 
been ' added by another hand.' Tyndale himself has said in his pro- 
logue, ' I have taken in hand to interpret this epistle,' as though he 
was not intending to expound the other two ; and Sir Thomas More, 
in the preface to his ' Confutacyon' (date 1532), has said, ' Then have 
we from Tyndale the first epistle of St John, in such wise expounded 
that I dare say that blessed apostle, rather than his holy words were 
in such a sense believed of all Christian people, had lever his epistle 
had never been put in writing.' Day's edition of Tyndale was com- 
piled rather more than 40 years after he and More had spoken thus ; 
and in it the reprint of the exposition of the first epistle is unac- 
companied by any notice of the existence of an exposition of the other 
two by Tyndale : so that Foxe either did not know of its existence, 
or did not believe it to be Tyndale's. Indeed evei-y known averment 
of his having composed an exposition of all St John's epistles is 
traceable to bishop Bale's introducing the words In epistolas Joannis 
into his enumeration of Tyndale's works, in the Scriptorum illustr. Maj. 
Britannice Catalogus. 

As however Tyndale might have composed a continuation of his 
exposition of the first epistle, between 1531 and his death, though he 
had not contemplated so doing; and as Bale's frequent inaccuracy 


ought not to prevent his testimony from having considerable vs^eight, 
inasmuch as he was nearly 30 years of age when Tyndale suffered mar- 
tyrdom; it has been the present editor's duty to give the exposition 
of the two less epistles a careful examination. But having done so, 
he would not think himself justified in reproducing it, either as 
Tyndale's work, or as too valuable to be left in obscurity. The text 
of those two epistles, incorporated into their exposition, is indeed nearly 
identical with Tyndale's, having only such occasional verbal changes as 
he has introduced into the text in his other expositions ; and one of 
those changes, viz. that of senior into elder, is such as he had, in 1530, 
announced his intention of making. But when sir T. More's cavils 
drew from him that announcement, Tyndale added, ' He rebuketh me 
also that I render this Greek word Agape into love, and not rather into 
charity. Verily charity is no known English in that sense which 
Agape requu-eth.' These words are followed by a whole section of 
remarks on the impropriety of using the word charity, where there is 
occasion to speak of that love which the scriptures commend. (Answ. 
to sir T. More's Dial.). But the author of the exposition of the two 
less epistles does not get through his second paragraph before he uses 
charity twice for love, in the very manner to which Tyndale thus objected : 
and short as the whole exposition is, he does not conclude it without 
employing the same word three times more, where Tyndale would 
have considered the word love as more plain English, and sufficient for 
expressing what was meant to be said. 

There are also such ungrammatical and ill-constructed sentences 
in the exposition of the two less epistles, as Tyndale was too skilful 
a writer to have penned. For example, in explaining verse 12 of 
epistle III, the expositor has expressed himself as follows : ' It must 
undoubtedly have been a man of marvellous integrity and unblameable, 
this Demetrius, unto whom all the congregation of good men, yea, and 
the truth also, beside that the apostle John, a man without guile, and 
that had not learned to flatter, gave such verdict.' But besides these 
discrepancies between his words and style, and those of Tyndale, this 
expositor has indulged in such fancies as are not at all in harmony 
with Tyndale's manner of commenting upon the scriptures. Thus on 
verse 1 of epistle n, he says, ' John calleth the church or congregation 
a lady, because she is the bride of the Lord Jesus ; and the members 
of the church he calleth children, remaining so still, in comparing and 
alluding.' And in concluding his exposition, he says, of both epistles, 
' The shortness hath a wondrous favour ; and the briefness hath also 
mysteries.' K Tyndale had written upon these epistles, and so thought, 
he would have told his readers why he imagined there was a mystery 
in the brevity, and what he supposed that mystery to mean. In another 
place, on ver. 10 of Epist. in, the expositor has said that * it is the duty 
of true herdsmen, to forgive nought.' It is incredible that Tyndale 
would have expressed himself so rashly, or inculcated a rule of pro- 
ceeding so contrary to plain scripture.] 



Ant. eJ. 

t Except a man have the profession of his baptism in his heart, 
he cannot understand the scripture. 

We must As a man can by no means read, except he be first 

first learn / . .^ ., t /. 

the profession tau^nt the Icttcrs 01 the cross row, even so it is unpossible for 

of our bap- o - i 

a man, of whatsoever degree or name he be of, to understand 
aught in the scripture unto the honour of God and health of 
his soul, except he be first taught the profession of his bap- 
tism, and have it also written in his heart. 
Theprofes- Wliicli profossion staudcth in two things: the one is the 

baptism*!"'' knowledge of the law ^ of God, understanding it spiritually, as 

what it is. o i t/ ' 

Christ expoundeth it Matt. v. vi. and vii. chapters, so that the 
root and life of all laws is^ this : Love thy Lord God with all 
thine heart, all thy soul, and all thy might ; and thy neigh- 
bour as thyself, for his sake : and that love only is the ful- 
filling of the law (as Paul teacheth) ; and that whatsoever deed 
we do, and not of that love, that same fulfilleth no law in the 
sight of God. 
Gospel. And the other is, to know the promises of mercy which 

are in our Saviour Christ ; understanding them also purely 
without all leaven, after the mercifullest fashion as scripture 
expresseth^ them, and after all fatherly love and kindness of 
God, unto all that repent toward the law, and believe in 
All our sins And to liavc this profession written in thine heart is 

chrlTrsake, to conscut uuto tlio law that it is righteous and good, and to 
deati^and'" lovo it in thiue heart, and to submit thyself thereunto for to 
cfear"" lorf leam it, and to rule and square all thy deeds thereby ; and 
Ant. ed. then to believe in Christ, that for his sake all thy sins, which 
thou diddest before the knowledge of this profession, are for- 
given thee clearly, both a j^x^na et culpa^, to use the Romish^ 

[1 So P. C. L., in D. the words of the law are wanting.] 

[2 So P. C. L., D. has he.} 

[3 So P. C. L., but D. has soimdeth.'] 

[4 From the penalty and guilt.] 

[5 So P. C. L., but D. has pope's.'] 

inselt unto 


terms ; and that for none other satisfaction to God-ward than 
Christ's blood ; and even so, that all the sin which we do 
after this knowledge, either of chance, ignorance, infirmity, 
negligence, or provoked and overcome of the flesh, is for- 
given us likewise, both poena et culpa, through repentance 
and faith in Christ, without our satisfaction of works to 

Notwithstanding we, being all sons of one God, and Every 
servants of one Christ, must agree among ourselves ; and he man'imTst 
that hath offended must meekly knowledge his fault, and offer h|" 
himself to make amends unto the utmost of his power ; and if A"'- ^j- 
he have not wherewith, ask forgiveness for Christ's sake, and^ 
the other is bound to forgive him. Neither, without recon- 
ciling himself unto his brother, may any man be at the first 
received unto the profession of Christ's faith, nor continue 
therein, nor be received in again, if he be for his open 
offences put thereout. For how can a man love his neigh- 
bour as well as himself, and be sorry that he hath hurt him, 
except he should offer himself to make amends ? 

And we must from henceforth walk in the life of pen- The right 
ance, (if ye will have it so called,) and after the doctrine of repentance 

• 1 • fi 1 • 1 /» • of sin and 

Christ every man tame his flesh with prayer, fasting, and ^'",|p/™*"' 
the continual meditations of Christ's penance and passions for ■^"'- ^''• 
us, and of the holy saints, and with such abstinence, and ah our life 

■t n T • I'll n • '""**' '^n*' 

kind of living, as every man thinketh most meet for his J" t^is end. 

O' «/ _ to tame our 

complexion ; the younger confessing their infirmities to the fp;'"^, ^"'J. 
elder, discreeter, and better learned, and asking their advice TuL'^d."'^" 
and wholesome counsel for the repressing of their diseases ; 
but all to tame the flesh, and to serve thy neighbour, without 
any superstitious mind. 

But to God- ward is there no satisfaction, save faith in Faith in 
Christ's blood out of a repenting: heart. For our outward biood, with a 

^ o repentant 

deeds cannot be referred unto God, to do him service in his '^'■?«' ''%.^^l^ 

' only satisfac- 

own person, and to help him, or make him better therewith, can n'ake^to- 
We can do no more with them, were they never so perfect, Int'ed."'^' 
and done with all love, than satisfy the law for the present 
time, and do our duty unto our neighbours, and tame our 
own flesh ; but not to make satisfaction to God for sin that is 
once past. The sin that is once committed must God forgive 
freely, of a fatherly love, for Christ's sake. 

[6 So P. C. L.J in D. and is wanting.] 



The father 
of love cor- 
recteth the 
Ant. ed. 

God as a 
loving fa- 
ll) er careth 
for us, and 
gently cor- 
recteth us to 
keep us in the 
right way. 
Ant. ed. 

When God visiteth us with sickness, poverty, or what- 
soever adversity it be, he doth it not of a tyrannous mind, to 
satisfy his lust in our suffering of evil, to make satisfaction for 
the sin that is past, of which we repent and be sorry ; but 
of a fatherly love, to make us know ourselves and feel his 
mercy, and to tame our^ flesh, and to keep us from sinning 
again : as no natural father punisheth his child because 
he delighteth in tormenting of him, to take satisfaction for the 
sin that is past ; but first teacheth kindly, and suffereth, and 
forgiveth once or twice ; and then at the last, when he seeth 
the body so wanton, that the child cannot continue in the 
right way for the rage of wild lusts, he beateth him 2, to 
subdue the flesh only, and to tame it, that the doctrine of the 
father may have her due course in the heart of the child, and 
should not be choked with lusts and concupiscences of our 
wicked nature^. 

Even so is it of God : if any of his children, that have 
professed his law and the faith of our Saviour, be negligent 
to tame his flesh with prayer, fasting, and good deeds after 
the doctrine of Christ, he will surely scourge him, to bring 
him into the right way again, and to keep him, that the 
doctrine of his soul's health perish not in him. But he taketh 
not his mercy from us, nor thinketh on the sin that is past, 
after that we repent and be full converted ; but absolveth us 
both a poena et culpa for Christ's sake ; and is as mighty 
and as merciful to do it for Christ's sake, as the bishop of 
Rome for money ; besides that he hath promised mercifully 
so to do. 

H The knowledge of our baptism is the key and the light of the 

rounder- And again, as he which knoweth his letters well, and can 

baptjsm is^to spell perfectly, cannot but read if he be diligent ; and as he 

thegolpe?^ which liath clear eyes without impediment or let, and walketh 

Anu ed. thereto in the light and open day, cannot but see, if he attend 

and take heed ; even so whosoever hath the profession of 

baptism written in his heart, cannot but understand the 

scripture, if he exercise himself therein, and compare one 

[1 So D., but P. C. L. has the instead of ourJ] 

[2 So P. C. L., in D. him is wanting.] 

[3 The last six words are in P. C. L., but not in D.] 


place to another, and mark the manner of speech, and ask 
here and there the meaning of a sentence of them that be 
better exercised^. 

For as the doctrine which we should be taught before we The key and 

° light of the 

were baptized, and for lack of age is deferred unto the years ^"i^p""^^ 

of discretion, is the key that bindeth and looseth, locketh and 

unlocketh, the conscience of all sinners ; even so that lesson, 

where it is understood, is only the key that openeth all the 

scripture, and even the whole scripture in itself, gathered 

together in a narrow compass, and brought into a compen- 

diousness. And till thou be taught that lesson, that thine 

heart feel the sweetness of it, the scripture is locked and how the 

shut up from thee, and so dark that thou couldest not locked up 

understand it, though Peter, Paul, or Christ himself did |n"''"w°T 

expound it unto thee; no more than a blind man can see, 

though thou set a candle before him, or shewedst him the sun, 

or pointedst with thy finger unto that thou wouldest have him 

look upon. 

Now we be all baptized ; but, alas ! not one, from the 

highest to the lowest, ever taught the profession or meaning 

thereof. And therefore we remain all blind generally, as well 

our great rabbins for all their high learning which they seem 

to have, as the lay people. Yea, and so much the more blind 

are our great clerks, that where the lay people, for a great 

number of them, are taught nothing^ at all, they be all 

wrong taught, and the doctrine of their baptism is all corrupt 

unto them with the leaven of false glosses, ere they come to 

read the scripture ; so that the light which they bring with 

them, to understand the scripture withal, is utter darkness, 

and as contrary unto the scripture as the devil unto Christ : 

by reason whereof the scripture is locked up and become so 

dark unto them, that they grope for the door, and can find 

no way in ; and is become a maze unto them, in which they 

wander as in a mist, or (as we say) led by Robin Goodfellow, 

that they cannot come to the right way, no, though they turn 

their caps ; and the brightness thereof hath blinded their eyes 

with malice, so that though they believe not the scripture to if we be not 

be false, yet they persecute the right understanding thereof, ^^^^^^^^^JJ 

and cannot believe it true in the plain sense, which it speaketh ll^^l""^ °^ 

w. T. ' 
I* In P. C. L. the words than he is are added here.] 

[5 So P. C. L., but D. has naught.] 


to them in. It is become a turn-again lane unto them, which 
they cannot go through, nor make three hues agree together. 
And finally, the sentences of the scripture are nothing but 
very riddles unto them, at the which they cast as the blind 
man doth at the crow, and expound by guess, an hundred 
doctors an hundred ways ; and one man in twenty sermons 
alleging one text after twenty fashions, having no sure doctrine 
to cleave unto ; and all for lack of the right knowledge of the 
profession of our baptism. 

^ He tliat hath the profession of his baptism written in his heart can 
be no heretic. 

Another conclusion is this : as he which ever creepeth along 

by the ground, and never climbeth, cannot fall from on ^ high ; 

He that un- evou SO uo man, that hath the profession of his baptism written 

theprofession in his lioart, cau stumble in the scripture, and fall unto heresies, 

of his bap- ... 

nohereuc^ or bccomc a maker of division and sects, and a defender of 
Ant.ed. ^ji(j ajj(j yj^jn opinions. For the whole and only cause of 
heresies and sects is pride. Now the law of God, truly inter- 
preted, robbeth all them in whose hearts it is written, and 
maketh them as bare as Job, of all things whereof a man can 
or may ^ be moved to pride. And on the other side, they 
have utterly forsaken themselves, with all their high learning 
The scripture aud wisdom, and are become the servants of Christ only, which 
liness. and hath bought them with his blood ; and have promised in their 

liatetli pride. O ' A 

Auced. hearts unfeignedly to follow him, and to take him only for the 
author of their religion, and his doctrine only for their wisdom 
and learning, and to maintain it in word and deed, and to^ 
keep it pure, and to build no strange doctrine thereupon, and 
to be at the highest never, but fellow with their brethren, and 
in that fellowship to wax ever lower and lower, and every day 
more servant than another* unto his weaker brethren, after the 
example and image of Christ, and after his commandment and 
ordinance, and not in feigned words of the pope. 

Tiie serii)iure Tliis bc^ Said bccauso of them that say that the scriptu'e 
maketh men heretics, and corrupteth with false opinions, 

W. T. 

[1 So P. C. L., but D. has an.] 

[2 So P. C. L.j but in D. or may is wanting.] 

[3 P. C. L. has to, but Day so.] 

[•• So P. C. L., but D. has other :\ 

[5 So P. C. L. : D. has he sald?^ 


contrary unto the profession of their baptism ; and the hght 
wherewith they should expound the scripture is turned into 
darkness in their hearts, and the door of the scripture locked, 
and the wells stopped up ere they come at it. 

And therefore, because their darkness cannot comprehend 
the light of scripture, as it is written, "The light shined in John i 
darkness, but the darkness could not comprehend it 
turn it into blind riddles, and read it without understanding, I'e'^d'thr 
as lay-men do our lady matins, or as it were Merlin's pro- vain!"'^"* 
phecies, having *• ever their minds upon their heresies. And 
when they come to a place that soundeth like, there they 
wrest, and wring out wonderful expositions, to stablish their 
heresies withal ^. Is it not a great blindness to say in the be- 
ginning of all together, that the whole scripture is false in the 
literal sense, and killcth the soul ? Which pestilent heresy to 
prove, they abuse the text of Paul saying, "The letter killeth;" Jemneth,To"' 
because that text was become a riddle unto them, and they fauhin''" 
understood it not : when Paul by this word letter understood death." 
the law given by Moses to condemn all consciences, and to rob 
them of all righteousness, to compel them unto the promises of 
mercy that are in Christ. 

Heresy springeth not of the scripture, no more than 
darkness of the sun ; but it^ is a dark cloud that springeth out f "n^th 
of the blind hearts of hypocrites, and covereth the face of ^^'^°f^5^ 
the scripture, and blindeth their eyes, that they cannot behold In'Jfed.'**' 
the bright beams of the scripture. 

The whole ^ sum then of all together is this : If our hearts 
were taught the appointment made between God and us in 
Christ's blood, when we were baptized, we had the key to 
open the scripture, and light to see and perceive the true 
meaning of it, and the scripture should be easy to understand. 
And because we be not taught that profession, is the cause 
why the scripture is so dark, and so far passing our capacity. 
And the cause why our expositions are heresies, is because we 
be wrong taught, and corrupt with false opinions beforehand, 
and made heretics ere we come at the scripture, and have 

[6 So P. C. L., but D. wants having, and has are after minds.] 
[' In D. Tyndale's last remark is followed by a jocular illustration, 
for which there is no authority in the older edition.] 
[8 So P. C. L. : in D. it is wanting ] 
[9 So P. C. L., but D. interposes and.'\ 


corrupt it, and it not us ; as the taste of the sick maketh 

wholesome and well-seasoned meat bitter, wearish, and unsa- 

"undfnfaith ^ourj. Nevertheless yet the scripture abideth pure in herself 

atuinto'the ^^^ bright, SO that he which is sound in the faith shall at 

the^serrpmre. oncc perccive that the judgment of the heretics is corrupt in 

Ant. ed. their expositions, as an whole man doth feel at once, even with 

smelling to the meat, that the taste of the sick is infected. 

And with the scripture shall they ever improve heresies and 

false expositions : for the scripture purgeth herself, even as the 

water once in the year casteth all filthiness unto the sides of 

Tiiti. iii. it^ Which to be true ye see by the authority of Paul, saying, 

"All the scripture was given of God by inspiration, and is 

good to teach withal, to improve," and so forth ; and by the 

example of Christ and the apostles, how they confounded the 

Jews with the same scripture which they had corrupt, and 

understood them amiss after their own darkness ; and as ye 

see by the example of us now also, how we have manifestly 

Jil'wntteJf^ improved the hypocrites in an hundred texts which they had 

not'tobf^ corrupt to prove their false opinion brought in besides the 

Ant^'ed^" scHpturo, and have driven them off; and they be fled, and 

openly confess unto their shame, that they have no scripture, 

and sing another song, and say they received them by the 

mouth of the apostles. Unto which stopping of theirs 2, I 

answer here grossly, seeing they are answered before ; that 

as he were a fool, which would trust him to tell his money in 

his absence, that hath picked his purse before his face ; even 

so, sith ye have corrupt the open scripture before our eyes, 

and are^ taken with the maner^, that ye cannot deny, we 

[^ So P. C. L. edition : D. wants o/it.] 

[2 So P. C. L., but D. has oyster instead of 0/ theirs.] 

[3 So P. C. L., but D. wants are.] 

[4 In Numbers v. 13, our authorised version has introduced the 
words 'with the manner,' in italics, to fill out the brief Hebrew 
expression 'she be taken.' Todd observes (Johnson's Dictionary), 
that in our old law-books manner is written mainour in this phrase, 
from the French manier, to seize with the hand. He adds that in our 
old Norman statutes it is written according to some, ' Pris ove manour,' 
and explained, 'taken with the goods in the hand.' But Burn, enlarg- 
ing on 3 Ed. I. c. 15, says, ' Taken with the mainer, i. e. with the thing 
stolen, as it were, in his hand.' Bum's Justice, vol. i. p. 138. In Day's 
edition of Tyndale it is spelt maner; but so also is the word manner, 
when used in its ordinary sense.] 


were mad to believe that which hath Hen fifteen hundred years, 
as ye say, in your rotten maws, should now be wholesome for 
us ; ye have chewed and mingled it with your poison spittle. 
Can ye bear us in hand, and persuade us, think ye, with your 
sophistry, to believe that ye should minister your secret tra- 
ditions without ground truly, when we see you minister the 
open scripture falsely ? Can ye bewitch our wits with your 
poetry, to believe that ye should minister your secret traditions 
for our profit, when we see you corrupt the open scripture to 
the loss of our souls for your profit? Nay, it is an 
hundred times more likely that ye should be falser in secret 
things than in open. And therefore in the very sacraments, 
which the scripture testifieth that Christ himself ordained 
them, we must have an eye unto your hand, how ye minister 
them. And as we restore the scripture unto her right under- havew-**^ 
standing from your false glosses, even so deliver we the scripmrtand 
sacraments and ceremonies unto their right use from your tacmmems. 
abuse. And that must we do with the scripture ; which can 
corrupt no man that cometh thereto with a meek spirit, 
seeking there only to fashion himself like Christ, according to 
the profession and vow of our baptism : but contrariwise, he 
shall there find the mighty power of God, to alter him, and 
change him in the inner man, a little and little in process, 
until he be full shapen after the image of our Saviour, in 
knowledge, and love of all truth, and power to work there- 

Finally then, forasmuch as the scripture is the light and The scripture 
life of God's elect, and that mighty power wherewith God ^^t \d"'' 
createth them, and shapeth them, after the similitude, hke- 
ness, and very fashion of Christ ; and therefore sustenance, 
comfort, and strength to courage them, that they may stand 
fast, and endure, and merrily bear their souls' health, where- 
with the lusts of the flesh are^ subdued and killed, and the spirit 
mollified and made soft, to receive the print of the image of 
our Saviour Jesus : and forasmuch" as the scripture is so 
pure of itself, that it can corrupt no man, but the wicked 
only, which are infect beforehand, and, ere they come at it, 
corrupt it with the heresies that'' they bring with them : 

[5 So P. C. L., but D. wants are.] 
[6 So P. C. L., but D. wants /or.] 
[7 So P. C. L., but D. wants that.] 

sav that the 




Hypocrites and forasmuch as the complaint of the hypocrites, that the 
scripture maketh heretics, is vain and feigned ; and the 
reasons wherewith they would prove that the lay people 
ought not to read the scripture, are' false, wicked, and the 
fruit of rotten trees : therefore are they faithful servants of 
Christ, and faithful ministers and dispensers of his doctrine, 
and true-hearted toward their brethren, which have given 
themselves up into the hand of God, and put themselves in 
jeopardy of all persecution, their very hfe despised, and 
have translated the scripture purely and with good conscience, 
submitting themselves, and desiring them that can to amend 
their translation, or (if it please them) to translate it them- 
selves after their best manner, yea, and let them sew to their 
glosses, as many as they think they can make cleave thereto, 
and then put other men's translation out of the way. 

The trans- Howbcit, though God hath so wrought with them that a 

lationofthe . ° , . i i i ^ i 

scripture is great part IS translated; yet, as it is not enough that the lather 

not sufficient o 1 ' ./ ' O 

mult be well ^^^ ^^'® mother have both begotten the child and brought it 

thell'eop're''' '^^^^ ^his world, cxcopt they care for it and bring it up, till it 

Sl'en^.^^can help itself; even so it is not enough to have translated, 

Ant. ed. tliough it werc the whole scripture into the vulgar and 

common tongue, except we also brought again the light to 

understand it by, and expel that dark cloud which the 

hypocrites have spread over the face of the scripture, to 

blind the right sense and true meaning thereof. And there- 

introduc- fore are there ^ divers introductions ordained for you, to 

tionsmadeto n • n i- i ii-i/» 

brinsyouto toach you the proiession ot your baptism, the only light ot 
orthTcr"^ the scripture ; one upon the epistle of Paul to the Romans, 
Ant ed ^"^^ another called " The Pathway into the Scripture." And 
for the same cause have I taken in hand to interpret this 
epistle of St John the evangehst to edify the layman, and to 
teach him how to read the scripture, and what to seek 
therein ; and that he may have to answer the hypocrites, and 
to stop their mouths withal. 

And first, understand that all the epistles that the 
apostles wrote are the gospel of Christ, though all that is 
the gospel be not an epistle. It is called a gospel, that is to 
say, glad tidings, because it is an open preaching of Christ; 
and an epistle, because it is sent as a letter, or a bill, to them 
that are absent. 

[1 P. C. L. has «s.] [2 So P. C. L. Day has at their.] 




Hero beginneth the first epistle of St John. 

That which was from the beginning declare we unto you, which we have i John i. 
heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon, and 
our hands have handled of the word of life. For the life appeared, 
and we have seen, and bear witness, and shew unto you that ever- 
lasting life, which was with the Father, and appeared unto us. 

In that St John saith, "The thing which was-from the st John wit- 
beginning," and "the everlasting hfe that was with the chnst is very 
Father," he witnesseth that Christ is very God ; as he doth Ant. ed. 
in the beginning of his gospel, saying : " The word," or the 
thing ^, " was at the beginning, and the thing was with God, 
and that thing was God, and all things were made by it." 

And when he saith, " Which we heard, and saw with That Christ 
our eyes, and our hands handled" him; he testifieth that Ant. ed. 
Christ is very man also ; as he doth in the beginning of his 
gospel, saying : " The word," or that thing, " was made 
flesh," that is, became man. And thus we have in plain and 
open words a manifest article of our faith, that our Saviour 
Christ is very God and very man. 

Which article whosoever not only believeth, but also He that be- 

iT i''i -1 I' r^ 1 111 lieveth that 

believeth m it, the same is the son of God, and hath ever- christisthe 

. . SO" of God, 

lasting life in him, and shall never come into condemnation : ^an'^hatr'^^ 
as it is written, John i. " He gave them power to be the sons ^^^"lasting 
of God, in that they believed in his name*;" and John iii., '* He fo-hnt 
that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life ; " and a little jChn "i'.' 
before in the said chapter, " He that believeth in him shall 
not be condemned." And to believe in the words of this 
article is that eating of Christ's flesh, and drinking his blood, 

[3 As the Hebrew word "1^1 means alike word and thing, Tyndale 
was led to consider the apostle as using \6yos for its equivalent.] 

\} So Tyndale's translation of John i. 12.] 

[tyndale, ii.j 




To believe 
in Christ. 
W. T. 

To believe 
that Christ 
is God and 
man is to 
put all our 
trust, hope, 
and confi- 
dence in 
Ant. ed. 

By nature 
we are the 
children of 
Ant. ed. 
£ph. ii. 

of which is spoken, John vi. " The words which I speak are 
spirit and hfe, and the flesh profiteth not at all;" meaning of 
the fleshly eating of his body, and fleshly drinking of his 
blood. There is therefore great difference between believing 
that there is a God, and that Christ is God and man ; and to 
believe in God and Christ, God and man, and in the pro- 
mises of mercy that are in him. The first is common to good 
and bad, and unto the devils also, and is called an historical 
faith and belief ^ The second is proper unto the sons of God, 
and is their life, as it is written, " The righteous liveth by 
faith ;" that is, in putting his trust, confidence, and whole hope 
in the goodness, mercy and help of God, in all adversities, 
bodily and ghostly, and all temptations, and even in sin and 
hell 2, how deep soever he be fallen therein. 

But as he which feeleth not his disease can long for no 
health, even so it is impossible for any man to believe in 
Christ's blood, except Moses have had him first in cure, and 
with his law have robbed him of his righteousness, and con- 
demned him unto everlasting death, and have shewed him 
under what damnation they are in by birth in Adam, and 
how all their deeds (appear they never so holy) are yet but 
damnable sin, because they can refer nothing unto the glory 
of God, but seek themselves, their own profit, honour and 
glory : so that repentance toward the law must go before 
this behef ; and he which repenteth not, but consenteth unto 
the life of sin, hath no part in this faith. 

And when John calleth Christ the everlasting life that was 
with the Father, he signifieth that Christ is our life; as after 
in the epistle, and in the first also of his gospel, saying, " In 
him was life." For until we receive life of Christ by faith, 
we are dead, and can be but dead, as saith John iii., "He that 
believeth not in the Son, can see no life, but the wrath of God 
abideth upon him." Of which wrath we are heirs by birth, 
saith Paul, (Eph. ii.) Of which wrath we are ignorant, until the 
law be published ; and walk quietly after our lusts, and love 
God wickedly, that he should be content therewith, and main- 
tain us therein, contrary unto his godly and righteous nature. 
But as soon as the law (whose nature is to utter sin, Rom. iii., 

[1 So P. C. L., but D. has devils thereto, and is called the faith and 
belief of the history. '\ 

[2 Tyndale probably adverted to Ps.xlix. 15, or Ixxxvi. 13.] 


and to set man at variance with God) is preached ; then we 
first awake out of our dream, and see our damnation, and 
have^ the law which is so contrary unto our nature, and The law con. 

.~,, I'll 1 • demneth us. 

grudge agamst God thereto, as young children do agamst A"'- ed. 
their elders when they first command, and count God a cruel 
tyrant because of his law, in that he condemneth us for that 
thing which we cannot love, nor of love fulfil. 

But when Christ is preached, how that God for his sake christ. 
receiveth us to mercy, and forgiveth us all that is past, and 
henceforth reckoneth not unto us our corrupt and poisoned 
nature, and taketh us as his sons, and putteth us under grace 
and mercy, and promiseth that he will not judge us by the 
rigorousness* of the law, but nurture us with all mercy and 
patience, as a father most merciful, only if we will submit ^u^ewesTo' 
ourselves unto his doctrine and learn to keep his laws ; yea, know'ied"e 
and he will thereto consider our weakness^, and, whatsoever he^wmo? fm 
chanceth, never taketh away his mercy, till we cast off the %ll\veus7 
yoke of our profession first, and run away with utter defiance, 
that we will never come more at school ; then our stubborn 
and hard hearts mollify and wax soft ; and in the confidence 
and hope that we have in Christ, and his kindness, we go to 
God boldly as unto our father, and receive life, that is to 
say, love unto God and unto the law also. 

That which we have seen and heard we declare unto you, that ye may 
have fellowship with us, and that oiu- fellowship may be with the 
Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write 
unto you, that your joy may be full. 

To bring unto the fellowship of God and Christ, and of Thetouch- 
them that believe in Christ, is the final intent of all the tmrdSc-* 

trine and 

scripture, why it was given of God unto man, and the only p^'^^'^'^^'^^- 
thing which all true preachers seek; and whereby ye shall 
ever know and discern the true word of God from all false 
and counterfeited doctrine of vain traditions, and the true 
preacher from the wily hypocrite. We preach unto you, 
saith St^ John, that everlasting life which we have heard, 
and in hearing received through faith, and are sure of it, to 
draw you to us out of the fellowship that ye have with the 

[3 Probably a typographical error for hate.] 
[* So D., but P. C. L. has righteousness.} 
[5 So P. C. L., but D. has meekyiess.'] 

[6 So P. C. L. ; but here and where Paul occurs, D. omits St.] 





2 Cor. xii. 

The modest 
and charita- 
ble manner 
of St Paul's 
Ant. ed. 

St Paul 
Christ, and 
not himself. 
Ant. ed. 

damned devils in sinful lusts and ignorance of God ; for we 
" seek you and not yours," as saith saint Paul, 2 Cor. xii. 
We love you as ourselves in God, and therefore would have 
you fellows and equal with us, and build you upon the 
foundation laid of the apostles and prophets, which is Christ 
Jesus, and make you of the household of God for ever ; that 
ye and we, fellows and brethren, and coupled together in 
one spirit, in one faith, and in one hope, might have our 
fellowship thereby with God, and become his sons and heirs, 
and with Jesus Christ, being his brethren and co-heirs, and 
to make your joy full through that glad tidings, as the angel 
said unto the shepherds, Lukeii. "Behold, I shew you great joy 
that shall be unto all the people, how that there is a Saviour 
born unto you this day, which is Christ the Lord." And these 
tidings we bring you with the word of God only, which we 
received of his Spirit, and out of the mouth of his Son, as 
true messengers. 

" We preach not ourselves, but Christ our Lord, and us 
your servants for his sake :" we do not love ourselves, to 
seek yours unto us, that after we had with wiles robbed 
you of all ye have, we should exalt ourselves over you, and 
separate ourselves from you, and make ourselves a several 
kingdom, free and frank i, reigning over you as heathen 
tyrants, and holding you in bondage to serve for^ our lucre 
and lusts, tangling your conscience with doctrine of man, 
which draweth from God and Christ, and fearing^ you with 
the bug of excommunication, against God's word ; or, if that 
served not, shaking a sword at you. 

And this is the tidings which wo have heard of him, and declare unto you, 
that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that 
wo have fellowship with him, and yet walk in darkness, we lie, and 
do not the truth. But and if we walk in light, as he is in light, 

[1 Frank, He alludes to the expression Frank-almoigne : " Tenure 
in Frank-almoign, in libera eleemosyna, or free alms, is that whereby 
a religious corporation, aggregate or sole, holdeth lands of the donor 
to them and their successors for ever. The service which they were 
bound to render for these lands was not certainly defined, but only in 
general, to pray for the souls of the donor and his heirs, dead or alive ; 
and therefore they did no fealty (which is incident to all other services 
but this), because this divine service was of a higher and more exalted 
nature." Blackstone's Comm. Vol. ii. p. 101.] 

[2 So P. C. L., but D. omits our.] [3 P. C. L. has/rautn^r.] 


then have we fellowship together, and the blood of Christ his Son 
cleauseth us from all sin. 

As the devil is darkness and lies, so is God light and as God is 
truth only; and there is no darkness of falsehead and con- devius dark- 
senting to wickedness in him. And the brightness of his Ant! ed. 
light is his word and doctrine, as the hundred and eighteenth^ 
Psalm saith, " Thy word is a lantern unto my feet, and a Psai. cxix. 
light to my paths." And Christ is "the hght tliat hghteneth christand 
all men." And the apostles are called "the light of the arerh'/ifght. 
world," because of the doctrine. And all that know truth 
are light : " Ye were once darkness," saith Paul, " but now Eph. v. 
light in the Lord ; walk therefore as the children of hght." 
And good works are called the fruits of hght. And all that Good works 
live in ignorance are called darkness ; as he saith afterwards, onight ^^^ 
" He that hateth his brother walketh in darkness." For if 
the light of the glorious gospel of Christ did shine in his 
heart, he could not hate his brother. 

By walking understand consenting, doing, and working. 
If then we walk in darkness, that is, consent and work wick- walking in 
edness, and say we have fellowship with God, we lie: forinUgTr"'^ 
to have fellowship with him is to know, and consent, and 
profess his doctrine in our hearts. Now if the command- 
ments of God be written in our hearts, our members cannot 
but practise them, and shew the fruit of them^ So whether 
light or darkness be in the heart, it will appear in the walk- 
ing. For though our members be never so dead unto virtue, 
yet if our souls knowledge the truth, and consent unto righte- 
ousness, we have the spirit of hfe in us. And therefore^ 
Paul saith, " If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from Rom. viii. 
death be in you, then will he that raised up Jesus from death the spirit of 

" ' _ ^ _ ^ God in us, 

quicken your mortal bodies by the reason of the Spirit that J^f^*"^^^ 
dwelleth in you." So that it is not possible for him that chrut.^*"* 
knoweth the truth, and consenteth thereto, to continue in ■*^"'' *'** 
sin. And then, finally, if we have the light in our hearts, 
and walk therein, then we have fellowship with God, and 
are his sons and heirs, and are purged from all sin through 
Christ's blood. 

[4 The 118th of the vulgate, but the 11 9th of the Hebrew and of 
the English version. Day's edit, has, c and xix.] 
[5 So P. C. L., but D. omits of them.] 
[6 So P. C. L., though D. omits there/ore.] 


If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the^ truth is 
not in us. 

He that saith If WG tliink there is no sin in us, we are beguiled and blind, 
sin deceiveth and the light of God's word is not in us ; and either follow 
Ant'eii sin as beasts without conscience at all; or if we see the gross 
sins, as murder, theft, and adultery, yet we have hanged a 
vail of false glosses upon IMoses's face, and see not^ the 
brightness of the law, how that it requireth of us as pure 
a heart to God, and as great love unto our neighbours, as 
was in our Saviour Jesus, and ceaseth not before to condemn 
us as sinners. 

If we knowledge our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, 
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 

If we confess If WG coufess our sius, not in the priest's ear, (though 
God'wuh" that tradition, restored unto the right use, were not damnable,) 
and repent- but iu our hcarts to God, with true repentance and fast 

ance, he will •■■ 

Ant'ed"'' belief; then is he faithful to forgive and to purge us, because 
of his merciful truth and promise. For he promised Abraham, 
that in his Seed all the world should be blessed from the 
curse of sin ; and hath abundantly renewed his everlasting 
mercy unto us in the new Testament, promising that our 
sins shall be forgiven us in Christ's blood, if we repent, and 
trust thereto. 

If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is 
not in us. 

All men are For his word tcstifieth against us, that we are all sinners ; 

Ant.^ed. yea, and else Christ died in vain, Salomon saith, that 

1 Kings viii. ^ ' 

"there is no man that sinneth not against God." And Paul 
proveth by the authority of the scripture unto the Romans, 
that we are all sinners without exception. And the scripture 
witnesseth that we are damnable sinners, and that our nature 
is to sin : which corrupt and poisoned nature, though it be 
begun to be healed^, yet it is never thorough whole until the 
hour of death. For the which cause, with all our best fruits, 
there grow weeds among. Neither can there be any deed 
so perfect that could not be amended. When a blind bungler 

[1 So P. C. L., but D. and Tyndale's version have not the.] 
[2 So D., but P. C. L. has do not see nor perceive.] 
[3 P. C. L. has cured and healed.] 


wondereth at his glorious works, a cunning workman, that Nothingcan 

o O, . , be so well 

hath a clear judgment, perceiveth that it is unpossible to j'o^';'^^^' ^ut 
make a work that could not be made better. Now the law Ant"ed''" 
requireth works of us in the highest degree of perfection, 
and ceaseth not to accuse us, until our works flow naturally 
as glorious in perfection as the works of Christ. And Christ 
teacheth us to pray in our pater-noster, " Forgive us our 
trespasses as we forgive our trespassers." Whereby ye may 
easily understand, that we sin daily one against another, 
and all against God. Christ taught also to pray, that our 
Father should not let us shp into temptation ; signifying that 
our nature cannot but sin, if occasions be given, except that 
God of his special grace keep us back : which readiness^ to 
sin is damnable sin in the law of God. David prayed, " Let Psai.ixix. 
not the tempest drown me, let me not fall into the bottom, 
and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me :" as who should 
say. First, keep me, God, from sinning ; then, if I shall ^"e'of man 
chance to fall, as no flesh can escape, one time or other, then w.'a\"^' 
call me shortly back again, and let me not sink too deep 
therein : and though I yet fall never so deep, yet. Lord, let 
not the way of mercy be stopped: signifying that it is un- 
possible to stand of ourselves, and much less to rise again. 
Which impotency and feebleness is damnable in the law of 
God, except that we saw it and repented, and were fled to 
Christ for mercy ; which he giveth abundantly unto them 
that require it with a faithful heart, and not wavering faith^. 

[4 So D., but P. C. L. has pronyte, i.e. proneness.l 
[5 InD. the chapter ends at the word mercy: what follows is found 
in the P. C. L. edition.] 



We must 
resist sin 

My little children, I write these things unto you, that ye sin not. And 
though any man sin, yet we have an advocate with the Father, even 
Jesus Christ, which is righteous. 

I write unto you on the one side, that God is light ; and 
therefore that no man, which wiUingly walketh in the un- 
fruitful works of darkness, hath any fellowship with that light, 
or part in the blood of his Son. And this I write and testify 
unto you, my dear children, that ye sin not : that is, that ye 
powerand' consont uot uuto sin, nor should sin of lust and purpose 
Aifed. mahciously ; but contrariwise that ye fear God, and resist sin 
with all your might and power according as ye have promised. 
Heb. vi. X. For whosoever sinneth of purpose after the knowledge of the 
truth, the same sinneth against the Holy Ghost remediless. 

And on the other side, I testify unto you, that we be always 
sinners, though not of purpose and malice after the nature of 
damned devils, but of infirmity and frailty of our flesh; which 
b^^the"fraiuy ^^sh not ouly Icttoth us, that our works cannot be perfect, 
of'^ourrtesh!' but also now and then, through manifold occasions and 
■*"'■ ''''■ temptations, carrieth us clean out of the right way, spite 
of our hearts. Howbeit (I say) if, when the rage is past, 
we turn unto the right way again, and confess our sins unto 
our Father with a repenting heart, he hath promised us 
mercy, and is true to fulfil it. So that if we sin not devil- 
ishly against the Holy Ghost, refusing the doctrine which we 
cannot improve that it should not be true, but after the 
frailty of man, there is no cause to despair : for we have an 
advocate and an intercessor with the Father, even Jesus 
Christ that is righteous, 
ouradvocate. The name of our advocate is "Jesus," that is to say, a 

W. T. . . . •' 

Matt.i. Saviour. " Call his name Jesus," said the angel to Joseph ; 
" he shall save his people from their sins." And tliis 
advocate, and our Jesus, to save us from our sins, con- 

Heb. vii. tinueth ever, as it is written ; and hath sempiterniim 
Sacerdotium^, an everlasting office, to make an atonement 
for sin : by the reason whereof, saith the text, "he is able 
ever to save them that come to God through him" with 
repentance and faith, and liveth ever to speak for us. And 
[1 An everlasting priesthood.] 


besides that, our Jesus is God, and Almighty. He took our Jesus, that 

• f • • 1-1 is God and 

nature upon him, and felt all our mnrmities and sicknesses, ™an, caiieth 

A ' ^ unto thee, O 

and in feeling learned to have compassion on us, and for l^^^^''- ^^' 
compassion cried mightily in prayers to God the Father for '^"'- ^^• 
us, and was heard. And the voice of the same blood that 
once cried, not for vengeance as Abel's, but for mercy only, 
and was heard, crieth now and ever, and is ever heard, as 
oft as we call unto remembrance with repenting faith, how 
that it was shed for our sins. He is also called Christus, christus. 
that is to say, king anointed with all might and power over 
sin, death and hell, and over all sins ; so that none that flieth 
unto him shall ever come into judgment of damnation. He is 
anointed with all fulness of grace, and hath all the treasure 
and riches of the Spirit of God in his hand, with which 
be blesseth all men, according to the promise made to Abra- Byjesus 
ham; and is thereto merciful, to give" unto all that call on him. aremadi 
And how much he loveth us, I report me unto the ensamples Ant!ed. 
of his deeds. 

And he is "righteous," both toward God, in that he never 
sinned, and therefore hath obtained all his favour and grace ; 
and also toward us, in that he is true to fulfil all the mercy 
that he hath promised us, even unto the uttermost jot. 

And he is the satisfaction for our sins ; and not for ours only, but also 
for all the world's 3, 

That I call satisfaction, the Greek calleth Ilasmos, and satisfaction, 
the Hebrew Copar*: and it is first taken for the suaging of w.\ 

[2 So P. C. L. but D. has forgive.] 

[3 In this exposition, as well as in that upon the Sermon in the Mount, 
Tyndale translates as the subject proceeds, without appearing to have 
had his own previous translation before him. In his first published 
version he had rendered the first clause, " He it is that obtaineth grace 
for our sins ;" and this inaccurate rendermg is found in the latest 
editions of his new Testament, in Coverdale's Bible, in Cranmer's, 
and in the Genevan Bible of 1557, notwithstanding the obviously 
greater correctness of the rendering which Tyndale had here given.] 

[* 'ikaa-fjios, "A propitiation, or rather a propitiatory victim, or 
sacrifice for sin." Parkhurst, Lex. If Tyndale's explanation is to be 
understood to belong to "123 , lexicographers have not confirmed his 
opinion respecting the primai-y meaning of this word, which they 
declare to be that of covering hy smearing with somewhat. It first occurs 
Gen. vi. 14, where Noah is directed to cover the ark with a smearing 


wounds, sores, and swellings, and the taking away of pain 
and smart of them ; and thence is borrowed for the pacify- 
ing and suaging of wrath and anger, and for an amends- 
making, a contenting, satisfaction, a ransom, and making at 
Pslhfs'aus""** one, as it is to see abundantly in the bible. So that Christ 
ou'r's°ins!^°'^ is a full contontiug, satisfaction and ransom for our sins : 
^^^■^^- and not for ours only, which are apostles and disciples of 
Christ while he was yet here ; or for ours which are Jews, 
or Israehtes, and the seed of Abraham; or for ours that now 
believe at this present time, but for all men's sins, both for 
their sins which went before and believed the promises to 
come, and for ours which have seen them fulfilled, and also 
for all them which shall afterward believe unto the world's 
end, of whatsoever nation or degree they be. For Paul 
Tim. ii. commandeth, 1 Tim. ii. " to pray for all men and all 
degrees," saying that to be " acceptable unto our Saviour 
God, which will have all men saved and come to the know- 
ledge of the truth ; " that is, some of all nations and all 
degrees, and not the Jews only. "For," saith he, "there is 
one God, and one Mediator between God and man, the man 
Christ gave Clirist Josus, wWch gavo himself a redemption" and full 
there- Satisfaction "for all men." David also said in the eighteenth^ 

demption . , ^ 

and salvation Psalm: "Their sound is ffone throughout all the earth, so that 

of all the O o ' 

Int!td. the benefit stretched on all men^." 

Let this therefore be an undoubted article of thy faith : 
not of a history faith, as thou believest a gest of Alexander, 
or of the old Romans, but of a lively faith and belief, to put 
thy trust and confidence in, and to buy and sell thereon, as 
we say ; and to have thy sins taken away, and thy soul 
saved thereby, if thou hold it fast ; and to continue ever in 
sin, and to have thy soul damned, if thou let it slip ; that 
our Jesus, our Saviour, that saveth his people from their sins, 
Christ is king and our Christ, that is our king over all sin, death and hell, 
hell, and sin. auointod witli fuluoss of all grace and with the Spirit of God, 
to distribute unto all men, hath, according unto the epistle to 

of pitch. Hence its secondary meaning is 'to blot out;' and, where 
sin is spoken of, ' to obliterate sin by covering it with expiatory blood ; 
to atone, expiate; or appease him from whose indignation the sin is 
thus covered.' See Robertson's Clavis Pentateuchi, on Exod. xxix. 33.] 
[1 The nineteenth of the Hebrew and of the English version.] 
[2 So P. C. L.; in Day's edition the last two sentences are omitted.] 


the Hebrews and all the scripture, in the days of his mortal 
jflesh, with fasting, praying, suffering, and crying to God 
mightily for us, and with shedding his blood, made full satis- 
faction both a poena et a culpa (with our holy father's leave) 
for all the sins of the world ; both of theirs that Avent before, 
and of theirs that come after in the faith ; whether it be 
original sin or actual : and not only the sins committed with 
consent to evil in time of ignorance, before the knowledge of 
the truth, but also the sins done of frailty after we have 
forsaken evil and consented to the laws of God in our hearts, 
promising to follow Christ and walk in the hght of his 

He saveth his people from their sins, Matth. i., and chnstoniyis 
that he only: so that there is no other name to be saved wl^x^^'"""^' 
by. Acts iv. And "unto him bear all the prophets record, Actsiv. 
that all that believe in him shall receive remission of their 
sins in his name." Acts x. And by him only we have an Acts x. 
entering in unto the Father, and unto all grace. Eph. ii. and Eph. ii. ui. 
iii. and Rom. v. And as many as come before him are 
thieves and murderers, John x. ; that is, whosoever preach- john x. 
eth any other forgiveness of sin than through faith in his 
name, the same slayeth the soul. 

This to be true, not only of original but also^ of actual 
[sin], and as well of that we commit after our profession as 
before, may est thou evidently see by the ensamples of the scrip- 
ture. Christ forgave the woman taken in adultery, John viii. Christ for- 
and another whom he healed, John v. And he forgave publicans Mns^freliyfor 

1 « 1 1 -in. his mercy 

and open smners, and put none to do penance, as they call it, sake. 
for to make satisfaction for the sin which he forgave through j^j^^jj ^"'■ 
repentance and faith ; but enjoined them the life of penance, 
the profession of their baptism, to tame the flesh in keeping 
the commandments, and that they should sin no more. And 
those sinners were for the most part Jews, and had their 
original sin forgiven them before through faith in the tes- 
tament of God. Christ forgave his apostles their actual sins 
after their profession, which they committed in denying him, 
and put none to do penance for satisfaction. Peter (Acts ii.) Acts ii. 
absolveth the Jews, through repentance and faith, from their 
actual sins, which they did in consenting unto Christ's death; 
and enjoined them no penance to make satisfaction. Paul 
[3 So P. C. L., but D. omits also.'] 




Christ only 
is our advo- 
Ant. ed. 
Acts ix. 

Popish for- 
W. T. 

The forgive- 
ness that we 
have of God 
for Christ's 
sake is free. 
Ant. ed. 

Faith in 
Christ is ac- 
counted to us 
for rigliteous- 

also had his actual sins forgiven him freely, through repent- 
ance and faith, without mention of satisfaction. Acts ix. So 
that, according unto this present text of John, if it chance us 
to sin of frailty, let us not despair ; for we have an advocate 
and intercessor, a true attorney with the Father, Jesus Christ, 
righteous towards God and man, and [he] is the reconciUng 
and satisfaction for our sins. 

For Christ's works are perfect ; so that he hath obtained 
us all mercy, and hath set us in the full state of grace and 
favour of God, and hath made us as well beloved as the 
angels of heaven, though we be yet weak : as the young 
children, though they can do no good at all, are yet as tenderly 
beloved as the old. And God, for Christ''s sake, hath pro- 
mised that whatsoever evil we shall do, yet if we turn and 
repent, he will never more think on our sins. 

Thou wilt say, God forgiveth the displeasure, but we 
must suffer pain to satisfy the righteousness of God. Ah,^ then 
God hath a righteousness which may not forgive pain and 
all, that the poor sinner might ^ go scot free without aught 
at all ! God was unrighteous to forgive the thief his pain, 
and all through repentance and faith ; unto whom for lack 
of leisure was no penance enjoined ! And my faith is, that 
whatsoever ensample of mercy God hath shewed one, that 
same he hath promised all. Yea, will he peradventure for- 
give me, but I must make amends? If I owe you twenty 
pounds, ye will forgive me; that is, ye will no more be 
angry with me, but I shall pay you the twenty pounds ! O 
popish forgiveness, with whom it goeth after the common 
proverb, No penny, no pardon ! His fatherhood giveth 
pardon freely ; but we must pay money abundantly. 

Paul's doctrine is, Rom. iv. If a man work, it ought not 
to be said that his hire was given him of grace or of favour, 
but of duty : " But to him that worketh not, but believeth 
in him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith" (he saith not, 
his works, although he commandeth us diligently to work, 
and despiseth none that God commandeth), "his faith" (saith 
he) " is reckoned him for his righteousness : " confirming his 
saying with the testimony of the prophet David in the thirty- 
second Psalm, saying, " Blessed is the man unto whom God 

[1 Old editions A, an ancient mode of writing this interjection.] 
[2 So P. C. L., but D. has should.] 


itnputeth" or reckoneth "not his sin ;" that is to say, which we are saved 

^ ' "^ by grace, and 

man, although he be a sinner, yet God layeth it not to his "" [h'^e^rw"''^ 
charge, for his faith's sake. And in the eleventh he saith, ^'"- ^"^ 
" If it come of grace, then it cometh not of works ; for then nom. xi. 
were grace no grace," saith he. For it was a very strange 
speaking in Paul's ears, to call that grace that came of de- 
serving of works ; or that deserving of works which came 
by grace ; for he reckoned works and grace to be contrary, 
in such manner of speech. But our holy father hath coupled 
them together, of pure liberality, I dare say, and not for 
covetousness. For as his holiness, if he have a cause against The pope, 

.■^ . when any 

any man, immediately breatheth out an excommunication "^^"hhn'^"'** 
upon him, and will have satisfaction for the uttermost farthing, ^^1'^^^° 
and somewhat above, to teach them to beware against another '*^'"- '"^• 
time, ere he will bless again from the terrible sentence of his 
heavy curse ; even so of that blessed complexion he describeth 
the nature of the mercy of God, that God will remit his 
anger to us upon the appointment of our satisfaction : whereas^ 
the scripture saith, Christ is our righteousness, our justifying, 
our redemption, our atonement, that hath appeased God, and 
cleanseth us from our sins, and all in his blood, so that his 
blood is the satisfaction only. 

And that thou may est the better perceive the falsehead works can 

be no satis- 

of our holy father's fleshly imagination, call to mind how 3f^"°ey°[ 
that the scripture saith, (John iv.) " God is a Spirit, and must ^n"'gj 
be worshipped in the spirit:" that is, repentance, faith, hope, God"is'a 
and love towards his law, and our neighbour for his sake, is musf'be"wor. 
his worship in the spirit. And therefore whosoever wor- thel'phitr 
shippeth God with works, and referreth his works to God, to 
be a sacrifice unto him, to appease him, as though he delighted 
in the work for the work's sake, the same maketh of God an 
image or idol, and is an image-server, and as wicked an 
idolater as ever was any blind heathen, and serveth God 
after the imagination of his own heart, and is abominable unto 
God: as thou seest in how many places God defieth* the 
sacrifice of the children of Israel, for the said imagination. 
So that whosoever supposeth that his candle-sticking before Pop^h 
an image, his putting a penny in the box, his going a pil- Ant. ed. 

[3 So P. C. L., but D. has when.] 

[4 Disdaineth: expresseth scorn against. So in Auth. version, 
Numbers xxiii. 7 and 8, where defy is the rendering of D>^?-] 




W. T. 

God doth 
pardon and 
forgive all 
our sins, 
they are, for 

grimage, his fasting, his woolward going, barefoot going, his 
crouching, kneehng, and pain-taking, be sacrifices unto God, 
as though he dehghted in them as we in the gestures of 
Jack Napes, is as bUnd as he that gropeth for his way at 
noon. God's worship is to love him for his mercy ; and of 
love to bestow all our works upon our neighbour for his sake, 
and upon the taming of our flesh, that we sin not again, 
which should be the chiefest care of a christian man; whilst 
Christ careth for that that is once past and committed already, 
whether before our profession or after. For the conditions 
of the peace that is made between God and us in Christ's 
blood are these : The law is set before us, unto which if we 
consent and submit ourselves to be scholars thereof, then are 
not only all our fore sins forgiven, both pmna et culpa (with 
our holy father's licence ever) ; but also all our infirmities, 
weakness, proneness^ readiness, and motions unto sin, are 
pardoned, and taken aworth^ and we translated from under 
the damnation of the law, which damneth as well those in- 
firmities as the sin that springeth of them, and putteth us 
under grace, (Rom. vii.) : so that we shall not henceforth, as 
long as we forsake not our profession, be judged by the 
rigorousness^ of the law ; but chastised, if we do amiss, as 
children that are under no law. Now then if God in Christ 
pardon our infirmities, by reason of which we cannot escape 
but that we shall now and then sin ; it folio weth that he must 
likewise pardon the actual sin which we do, compelled of 
those infirmities in spite of our hearts, and against the will of 
the Spirit. For if thou pardon the sickness of the sick, then 
must thou pardon the deeds which he doth, or leaveth undone, 
by the reason of his sickness. If the madness of a madman be 
pardoned, and under no law, then if he murder in his mad- 
ness, he may not be slain again. If children within a certain 
age are not under the law that slayeth thieves, then can ye 
not of right hang them, though they steal. What popish 
pardoning were that ! This doth Paul (Rom. vii.) so confirm, 
that all the world cannot quitch against it, saying : "I consent 
unto the law of God that it is good," and fain would I do it, 
and yet have I not always power so to do, but find another 

[1 Pronite'm P. C.L.] 
[2 See Vol. I. p. 463.] 
[3 So Day, but P. C. L. has righteousness .'\ 


thing in my flesh, rebelhng against the will of my mind, and 
leading me captive into sin, so that I cannot do that I would 
do, but am compelled to do that I would not : " If," saith he, 
" I do that I would not, then I do it not, but the sin that 
dwelleth in me doth it." And then saith he, " Who shall 
deliver me from this body of death," in which I am bound 
prisoner against my will ? " Thanks be to God," saith he, chnsfs 
*' through Jesus Christ our Lord," which hath conquered and w. t. ' 
overcome sin, death, and hell, and hath put the damnation of 
the law out of the way unto all that profess the law, and 
believe in him. 

We be under the law to learn it, and to fashion our deeds 
as like as we can ; but not under the damnation of the law, 
that we should be damned, though our deeds were not* 
perfect as the law requireth, or though of frailty we at a 
time break it : as children are under the law, that they steal 
not ; but not under the damnation, though they steal. So that 
all they that are graffed into Christ to follow his doctrine, 
are under the law to learn it only, but are delivered from 
fear of everlasting death and hell, and all the threatenings 
of the law, and from conscience of sin, which feared us from 
God. And we are come in to God through the confidence 
that we have in Jesus Christ ; and are as familiar and bold 
with him as young innocent children, which have no conscience 
of sin, are with their fathers and mothers, or them that nourish 
them: which were unpossible, if God now (as the bishop ofThepope-s 

, purgatory 

Rome painteth him) did shake a rod at us of seven years' ^"f'^g^- 
punishment, as sharp as the pains of hell, for every trespass 
we do ; which trespasses for the number of them were like 
to make our purgatory almost as long as hell, seeing we 
have no God's word that we shall be delivered thence, until 
we have paid the last farthing. And therefore could our 
conscience never be at rest, nor be bold and familiar with 

If ye say, the bishop of Eome can deliver my conscience j^'^^^^'^'^ 
from fear of purgatory (as his poetry only putteth me in fear), w. t. 
and that by this text, " Whatsoever thou bindest on earth, &c. ;" 
if thou this way understand the text, " Whatsoever thou, 
being in earth, loosest any where ;" then might he loose in 
hell, and bind in heaven. But why may not I take the text 
[4 So D., but P. C. L. has as after not.] 


Note this of Christ, John xvi. "Whatsoever ye ask my Father in my 
Binding and name, he will ffive it you;" and desire forgiveness of all 

loosing is by , . -^ ? , , i 7 i 1 

the true togothor m Christ s name, both a poena et culpa; and then 

preaching of c . ^ 

Ant.\r''*" remaineth no such purgatory at all? Howbeit the text of 
binding and loosing is but borrowed speech, how that after 
the similitude of worldly binding and loosing, locking and un- 
locking, the word of God truly preached doth bind and loose 
the conscience. 

Jer. i. God saith to Jeremiah the prophet in his first chapter', 

"Behold, I give thee power over nations and kingdoms to 
pluck up by the roots, and to shiver in pieces, to destroy 
and cast down, and to build and plant." How did he destroy 
nations and kingdoms, and how did he build them ? Verily, 
by preaching and prophesying. What nation, kingdom, or 
city he prophesied to be overthrown, was so ; and what city 
he prophesied to be built again, was so ; and what nation, 
after they were brought into captivity, he prophesied to 
be restored again, were so ; and whom he prophesied to 
perish, perished ; and whom he prophesied to be saved, was 
saved. Even so, whomsoever a true preacher of God's 
word saith shall be damned for his sin, because he will not 
repent and beheve in Christ, the same is damned : and 
whomsoever a true preacher of God's word saith shall be 
saved, because he repenteth and believeth in Christ's blood, 
the same is saved. And this is the binding and loosing that 
Christ meant. 

Notwithstanding, ye must understand, that when we have 
sinned, though our hearts were not to sin, and though we 
repent ere the deed be done, yet the body, in sinning, hath 
overcome the spirit, and hath gotten the mastery : so that 
the spirit is now weaker and feebler to virtue, and to follow 
the law of God and doctrine of Christ, and the flesh stronger 
to follow vice and sin. Wherefore as, when an old sore is 
broken forth again, we begin, as it were, a new cure with 
greater diligence and more care than before ; even so here 
we must renew our old battle against the flesh, and more 

struggle and stronglv go to work, to subdue it, [and to quench the lusts 

strive with o t/ o ' ^ l a 

I'nt ed thereof, which are waxen so rank, that they bud out openly,] ^ 
according to the profession of our baptism, which is the very 

[1 So P. C. L., but Day, to Hieromias, cap. i.] 

[2 The passage between brackets is not in the P. C. L. ed.] 


sacrament or sign of repentance, (or, if they will so have it 
called, penance,) by the interpretation of Paul (Rom. vi). For 
the plunging into the water, as it betokeneth on the one part 
that Christ hath washed our souls with his blood ; even so on 
the other part it signifieth that we have promised to quench 
and slay the lusts of the flesh with prayer, fasting, and holy 
meditation, after the doctrine of Christ, and with all godly 
exercise, that tame the flesh, and kill not the man. 

Whereupon the bishops that succeeded the apostles, when How pen- 

, , T . . . , , , ance came 

men had done any open sms, enjoined them penance, as they up, and pur- 
call it, by the authority of the congregation and governors A"'- ed. 
thereof, and advice of the most wise and discreet, and with 
the willing consent of the trespassers, to tame the flesh; as to 
go woolward, to wear shirts of hair, to go bare-foot, and bare- 
head, to pray, to fast bread and water, some once in the week, 
some twice, or all the week, an whole year, two years, three 
years, eight years, twenty years, and some all their lives long; 
and to go in pilgrimage, to visit the memorial of saints^, to 
strength them the better to follow their ensample, and such 
like, and all to slay the worldly mind of the flesh ; which 
manner, when it was once received of the people by custom, 
it became a law. And the bishops by little and little gat it 
whole into their own hands. 

When the bishops saw that, how they had gotten the How the 
simple people under them in such humble obedience, they Ris'^shave- 
began to set up their crests, and to reign over them as ai^"«ed pen- 
princes, and to enjoin sore penance for small trifles, namely ^"'- ^'^• 
if aught were done against their pleasure ; and beat some 
sore, and spared other, and sold their penance to the rich, 
and overladed the poor, until the tyranny was waxen so 
grievous that the people would bear it no longer. For by 

p Augustine tells us that Paulinus, bishop of Nola, wrote to him, 
'quajrens a nie utrum prosit cuique post mortem, quod corpus ejus apud 
saucti alicujus memoriam sepelitur.' In reply he composed his treatise 
De cura agenda pro mortuis ; in which he explains the origin of the 
name memoria or memorial, as follows: Non ob aliud vel memoria; vel 
monumenta dicuntur ea quse insignita fiunt sepulcra mortuorum, nisi 
quia eos qui viventium oculis morte subtracti sunt, ne oblivione etiam 
cordibus subtrahantur, in memoriam revocaut, et admonendo faciunt 
cogitari; nam et memoria) nomen id apertissime ostendit, et monu- 
mentum eo quod moneat mentem, id est admoncat, nuncupatur. — Op. 
Tom. VI. col. 515, 519, C] 

[tyndale, II.J 


this time, what with the multitude of ceremonies, and heap of 
men's constitutions, whose right use was thereto clean forgotten, 
and partly because our shepherds were busied to seek them- 
selves and their high authority, and exalted every man his 
throne, and were become wolves unto the flock, the cause why 
the people were disobedient unto wholesome counsel was, that'- 
the word of God was sore darkened, and no where purely 
preached. And therefore the prelates, loath to lose their 
high authority, and to let the people go free of their yoke, 
began to turn their tale, and sing a new song, how that this 
penance was enjoined to make satisfaction to God for the sin 
that was committed ; robbing our souls of the fruit of Christ's 
blood, and making us image-servants ; referring our deeds 
unto the person of God, and worshipping him, as an image 
of our own imagination, with bodily work : saying moreover, 
if we would not do such penance here at their injunctions, we 
Here was must do it iu auothcr world : and so feigned purgatory, where 

purgatory ' a r O d ' 

kmcued. ^^ must suffcr seven years for every sin. And when the 
kingdom of antichrist was so enlarged that it must have a 
head, they set up our holy father of Rome, or he rather 
usurped the realm" with violence; and to him was given this 
prerogative, to sell whom he would from purgatory ^ 

And the sacrament of penance they thus describe : contri- 
tion, confession, and satisfaction : contrition ; sorrow for thy 

Ant'.'ed. sins: confession; not to God and them whom thou hast offended, 
but tell thy sins in the priest''s ear : satisfaction, to do certain 
deeds enjoined of them, to buy out thy sins. And in their de- 
scription they have clean excluded the faith in the satisfaction 
of Christ's blood; which only bringeth life, and the spirit of life, 

Heb. xi. and righteousness, and without the which it is impossible to 

Faith is the , ^ i • i 111 • 1 

chiefest part pieaso God : in wnose stead they have put in the presumption 

of penance, , . 

Ant. ed. of oiir owu works. And for lack of trust in Christ's blood, our 
contrition is but a fruitless sorrow in the respect of hell, which 
maketh us hate the law still, and consequently God that made 
it : where true contrition, annexed with faith, is sorrow in 
respect of the law, unto which we consent that it is good, and 

[1 So P. C. L. Day wants, was that.} 

[2 So P. C. L. but Day has or rather usurped that Home.l 
[3 That is, to take a price for making over the merits of the saints 
to a soul in purgatory, that it might be released.] 

The defi- 
nition of 

made by the 


love it, and therefore mourn, partly because we have oflFendcd 
it, and partly because we lack power to fulfil it as we would. 
These things to be true our prelates know by open histories, 
as well as that^ when it is noon the sun is flat south. But it 
delighteth them to resist the Holy Ghost, and to persecute 
the preachers of the things which, if they as well loved them 
as they know them^ to be true, they would preach the same 
themselves and live thereafter. Hereof ye may see our works our works 
are but to tame the flesh only ; and can be no satisfaction to no satisfac- 

■^ ' tion, but 

God, except we make him an image, and ourselves image- ?^'^hdl?s 
servants. And hereof ye may see how out of this open Ant^'ed. 
penance came the ear-confession, satisfaction of works, purga- 
tory and pardons. For when they had put the satisfaction of 
Christ's blood out of the way, then as they compelled men to 
confess open sins, and to take open penance, even so they 
compelled them^ to confess secret sins, and to take secret pen- 
ance. And as they made merchandise of open penance, so did 
they of secret. And for them that would not receive such The practice 

, . and mer- 

pardons leio-ned they puro-atory, and for them that received c'^andise of 

1 O t/iOt/'^^ ^ ^ the pope and 

them feigned they pardon, turning binding and loosing, with ^^t^^'ed^^' 
preaching God's word, unto buying and selling sin for money. 
And since that time hitherto, the worse the people were, the 
better were the prelates content, ever resisting that they 
should be made better, through their blessed covetousness and 
proud desire of honour. 

And out of this false presumption of works sprang the 

Vows of 

wicked vows of religion ; which they vow to make satisfaction ^"'- ^'^• 
for sin, and to be higher in heaven, instead of the life of 
penance which Christ taught us in the gospel, to tame the 
flesh, and to crucify the members withal, that we henceforth 
should walk in the ways of God's law, and sin no more. 

And to speak of worshipping of saints, and praying unto worshipping 
them, and of that we make them our advocates well nigh above Ant. ed." 
Christ, or altogether, though it require a long disputation, yet 
it is as bright as the day to all that know the truth; how that 
our fasting of their evens, and keeping their holy days, going 
bare-foot, sticking up of candles in the bright day, in the wor- 

[4 So P. C. L. : in D., that is omitted.] 
[5 The two thems are wanting in D., but found in P. C. L.] 
[6 The them here also, and men in the preceding clause are in 
P. C. L. but not in D.J 



shipping of them to obtain their favour, our giving them so 
Thepopeand costlj jcwols, offering into their boxes, clothing their images, 
setteth up shoeinff them with silver shoes with an ouch of crystal in the 

idolatry. '^ t> • 

Ant.ed. midst, to stroke the lips and eyes of the ignorant, as a man 
would stroke young children's heads to entice them and bring 
them in, and rock them asleep in ignorance, are with all like 
service plain idolatry, that is, in English, image-service. For 
the saints are spirits, and can have no delectation in bodily 
things. And because those bodily deeds can be no service 
unto the spiritual saints, and we do them not to be a service to 
ourselves or our neighbours ; we serve the work and the false 
imagination of our fleshly wit, after the doctrine of man, and 
not of God, and are image-servants. And this is it that Paul 
calleth servire elementis mundi^, to be in captivity under dumb 
ceremonies and vain traditions of men's doctrine, and to do the 
work for the work itself; as though God delighted therein, for 
the deed itself, without all other respect. 

Thetruewor- But aud vo wiU kuow the true worshipping of saints, 

shipping of ^ , . . v i • i 

saints. hearken unto Paul, where he saith, "Ye slime as lights in the 

Ant. ed. ° 

Phii.iL world, holding fast the word of hfe unto my glory, (or worship,) 
against the day of Jesus Christ, that I have not run nor la- 
boured in vain." That is to wete, the worship which all true 
saints now seek, and the worship that all the true messengers 
of God seek this day, or ever shall seek, is to draw all to 
Christ with preaching the true word of God, and with the 
Good lessons eusample of pure living fashioned thereafter. Will ye therefore 
learned of worsliip saiuts truly ? Then ask ^ what they preached, and 
Ant. ed. believe their doctrine ; and as they followed that doctrine, 
so conform your living like unto theirs : and that shall be 
The true wor- unto their high worship in the coming again of Christ (when 
saints is to all mcu's dccds shall appear, and every man shall be judged, 

follow tlieir . . t! a ' 

doctriM ^^^ receive his reward, according unto his deeds), how that 
Ant. ed. ^^^ ^^^ ouly, wliilo they here lived, but also after their death, 
with the eusample of their doctrine and living, left behind in 
writing and other memorials, unto the eusample of them that 
should follow them^ unto Christ, that were born five hundred, 
yea, a thousand years after their death. This was their wor- 
ship in the spirit at the beginning, as they were spirits ; and 

[1 To be in bondage to the elements of the world.] 

[2 So P. C. L., but Day has hear.'] 

[3 So Day; in V. C. L. them follows Christ.] 


lights were sticked before their memorials at the beginning, The sticking 
to be a ceremony to put us in remembrance that we so praised blfore'^ilna-'^^ 

... ges. W. T. 

the saints, and boasted their livings, that we followed their 
ensamples in our deeds; as Christ saith, "Let your Hght so Matt v. 
shine before men that they see your good works, and glorify 
your Father that is in heaven." For preaching of the doctrine, 
which is light, hath but small effect to move the heart, if the 
ensample of living do disagree. 

And that we worship saints for fear, lest they should be 
displeased and angry with us, and plague us or hurt us, (as 
who is not afraid of St Laurence ? who dare deny St Anthony 
a fleece of wool, for fear of his terrible fire, or lest he send the 
pox among our sheep ? ) is heathen image-service, and clean 
against the first commandment, which is, "Hear, Israel, the Note this for 
Lord thy God is one God." Now God in the Hebrew is mandment. 
called El, or Elohim in the plural number, stre^igth or might. 
So that the commandment is. Hear, Israel, he that is thy ifwehearken 

,., , , ii'ii-i 1 • to the voice 

power and mio;ht, thy sword and shield, is but one; that is, of God, he is 

^ , o ' «/ •> ^ ' miglity and 

there is none of might to help or hurt thee, save one, which is j^p/'",'^^'' '° 
altogether thine, and at thy commandment, if thou wilt hear ^"'- ^'*- 
his voice. And all other might in the world is borrowed of 
him : and he will lend no might against thee contrary to his 
promises. Keep therefore his commandments, and he shall keep 
thee : and if thou have broken them, and he have lent of his 
power against thee, repent and come again unto thy profession; 
and he will return again unto his mercy, and fetch his power 
home again, which he lent to vex thee, because thou forsookest 
him and brakest his commandments. And fear no other 
creature ; for false fear is the cause of all idolatry. 

Moreover all we, that are baptized in Christ, have pro- we must do 
fessed to do good for evil, and not to avenge ourselves. And aiiI. edl^ ^" " 
many of us come unto such perfection, that we can be provoked 
by no temptation to desire vengeance, but have compassion, 
and meekly pray for them that slay us. 

How wicked a thing then is it to think that the saints 
trouble and* plague us, because we do them not such super- 
stitious honour, which is their dishonour and our shame? It a popish ima- 

., ..... 1 ^ •^ ^ • gination. 

is verily a popish imagination, and even to describe the saints Anted. 
after the nature of our prelates, which be meek and lowly till 
they be where they would be ; but when they be once aloft, 
[■* So P. C. L., but Day omits trouble and.'] 


they play the tormentors if we will not honour them, and do 
whatsoever they command more earnestly than that which 
God himself hath commanded, and fear them above God 

And it can be but like abomination also, that we choose of a 

fleshly mind every man his several saint, or rather several gods, 

to be our advocates, attornies, mediators (when there is but one, 

iTim. ii. 1 Tim. ii.) and intercessors; and call them our advouries, when 

Advounes. ^^ might bcttcr call them our adulterers'; and serve them, or 

Idolatry. rather a painted post in their stead, with our image-service, 

therewith to bind them for to help us, whensoever and for 

whatsoever we call unto them, and to save our souls thereto 

with their prayers and merits ; and will yet neither hear the 

doctrine, nor follow the ensample of living (which is their only 

honour) in the spirit of any saint, whose doctrine and living is 


Godhathjiro- For first, God, which alone hath power to help or hurt, 

Sl'whatso-'* hath made appointment betwixt him and us, in Christ's blood; 

in Christ's and hath bound himself to give us whatsoever we ask in his 

name, and ^ 

sake^Ant% name, testifying thereto that there is no other name to be 
saved by ; and that he will be a father unto us, and save us 
both in this life and in the life to come, and take us from under 
the damnation of the law, and set us under grace and mercy, 
to be scholars only to learn the law ; and that our unperfect 
deeds shall be taken in worth, yea, and though at a time we 
mar all through our infirmity, yet, if we turn again, that shall be 
forgiven us mercifully, so that we shall be under no damnation: 
which testament is confirmed with signs and wonders wrought 

Saints can- throuffh the Holv Ghost. Now, this indented obligation laid 

not help us. ° '' „ . . . , 

Ant. ed. apart, we make another, of our own imagination, between the 
saints and us, in their merits for our image-service : which 
can be but a false faith ; seeing it hath not God's word, unto 
which alone we ought to cleave, but is also clean contrary 
The saints Aud again, the saints were not saved through their own 

Mved"by merits, but through Christ's. Neither were their deeds, which 

[1 Advom-yes : protectors. In Cliaucer's Jacke Upland's questions 
to the freres, the 29th is, 'Why clepe ye hem your patrons and avowries?' 
In French avouerie is protection. Tyndale writing the word advoury 
makes it differ by but one letter from advoutry, which is with him a 
synonym for adultery. See Vol. i. p. 17.] 

merits, but 


they did after they were received under grace, sufficient in theirown 
themselves to fulfil the law for the present time, save as by 
Christ"'s merits did supply the imperfectness of them, and that ^nt. ed, 
which was lacking on their part through their infirmities. 
And therefore as the saints' holy works made no satisfaction ofthe 
for the sin they did before they were received under mercy, of ^'i^"'^. 
even so made they none for the deadly sins which they did 
under mercy ; seeing the deeds were unperfect, and had sin 
annexed unto them by reason of the flesh, and were insufficient 
to excuse their own masters. What merits have they in store 
for us then, seeing by all men's confession they now merit 
not? If the most obedient child in the world disobey his 
father's commandments, his fore good deeds cannot make that 

disobedience no sin, or to be a satisfaction, that the child we must 

humble our- 

should presume in the confidence of his old deeds, and think ^e'ves to the 

^ ^ _ _ ' mercy of 

his father should do him wrong to punish him : but he must gqj^''*^ 
knowledge his fault, and that he hath deserved punishment, ^^'- ^• 
and desire forgiveness, unto the glory of his father's merciful- 
ness, and not of his old deeds, though his old obedience be a 
great presumption that he sinned of frailty, and not of pur- 
pose. Even so if I, being as holy as ever was Paul in his 
most holiness, sin this day through the frailty of my flesh, 
mine old deeds can be no satisfaction : but I must knowledge 
my sin unto my Father, and grant that I have deserved 
damnation, and meekly desire forgiveness, and challenge it by 
the obhgation wherein God hath bound himself to me, unto 
the glory of the mercy of God, and not to the glory of my 
holy deeds : for if my deeds save me, it is my glory ; but if 
he forgive us freely, without respect of my deeds, then it is the 
glory of his mercy, by Paul's doctrine unto the Romans. 

Moreover if the saints be in heaven, then can they be The angeu 

" serve us. 

there in none other case than the angels ; in which state w. x. 
Christ testifieth they shall be in the resurrection. Now the 
angels are ministers sent of God to do service unto the elect, Heb.i. 
which shall be saved. And God hath bound himself, that 
if I come in the right way, by the door of Christ's blood, and 
ask help, that he will send me, if need be, an hundred legions 
of angels or saints. But when God hath bound himself to 
send me angels or saints, or an angel or saint, he hath not 
promised to send this angel or that, or this or that saint. And 
therefore, when I appoint God whom he shall send, and bind 


him, where he hath not bound himself, to send me what saint 

Ja^n'Sw' be ^ ^^^^' "'- ^cmpt God. And thus this choosing of several saints 

c^tefumeie ^^ ^^^ tempting of God. And yet we do worse than this: 

Ant eT for we leave the way of Christ's blood, and go not to God 

through him ; but run to the saints, in a testament of our own 

making, and will that they either save us themselves for our 

image-service, or compel God for their ^ merit's sake to save 

us. Why goest thou not unto thy father thine ownself ? ' I 

am a sinner,' will they say, 'and dare not.' If thou go in the 

right way, thou hast no sin. Christ hath taken all thy sins 

from thee ; and God hath no rod in his hand, nor looketh 

sour, but merrily, that it is a lust to behold his cheerful 

countenance, and offereth thee his hand. But this way is 

Christ is the stoppcd up through unbelief; and therefore we seek another, 

th'ai'ieadeth ' wliich is uo way to life, but unto everlasting death. We will 

rnt°"i ""^^ ^*^*^^^ ^^ ^^^® ^^^ ^^^^^ open eyes, and therefore have we no 

due repentance, and so no lust to hearken unto the gospel of 

glad tidings in Christ's blood. And where the right way 

is set before us, and we of malice will not walk therein, 

God cannot but let the devil play with us, and juggle our 

eyes to confirm us in bhndness. 

How chnst But after what manner doth Christ pray for us ? Verily 

us^'w. T.' Christ in the days of his mortal flesh suffered and prayed for 

all that shall be saved, and obtained and was heard, and had 

his petitions granted. And he made satisfaction, and purged, 

and purchased forgiveness, even then, for all the sin that 

ever shall be forgiven. And his praying for us, and being a 

mediator now, is that the remembrance of all that he did for 

us is present in the sight of God the Father, as fresh as the 

hour he did them ; yea, the same hour is yet present, and not 

Christ is a past, in the sight of God. And Christ is now a king, and 

hath'ifower rcigueth ; and hath received power of all that he prayed for, 

forKi'veus, to do It hlmsclf ; and that, whensoever the elect call for 

and to receive ,.,. , iiii n -i ^ • i 

us unto him- aught m his name, he sendeth help, even ot the power which 
Ant. ed. he hath received: yea, ere they ask, he sendeth his Spirit 
into their hearts to move them to ask : so that it is his gift 
that we desire aught in his name. And in all that we do or 
think well, he preventeth us with his grace : yea, he careth 
for us ere we care for ourselves, and when we be^ yet evil 

[^ So P. C. L. but D. omits their.] 
[2 So P. C. L. but D. has were.] 


he sendeth to call us, and draweth us with such power that 
our hearts cannot but consent and come, and the angels stand 
by, and behold the testament of the elect, how we shall be 
received into their fellowship, and see all the grace that 
Christ shall pour out upon us. And they rejoice, and praise ^/JJ^| 
God for his infinite mercy ; and are glad, and long for us ; h'^^enL^^ 
and of very love are ready against all hours, when we shall ir!fgia*d"'^to 
call for help in Christ's name, to come and help. And Christ wtththem, ^ 
sendeth them, when we call in his name ; and ere we call, mightjoy 


even while we be yet evil, and haply persecute the truth Ant. ed. 
of ignorance, as Paul did, the angels wait upon us to keep 
that the devils slay us not before the time of our calling be 

Now If an angel should appear unto thee, what wouldest 
thou say unto him ? If thou prayedst him to help, he would 
answer : ' I do. Christ hath sent me to help thee ; and 
believe that the angels be ever about thee to help.' If thou 
desiredst him to pray for thee, to obtain this or that; he 
would say : ' Christ hath prayed, and his prayer is heard for christ 
whatsoever thou askest in his name;' and would show thee us%nd hiL' 

prayer is 

all that God would do to thee, and what he would also have neatA. 

Ant. ed. 

thee to do : and if thou believest so, then^ wert thou safe. 
If thou desiredst him to save thee with his merits, he would 
answer that he had no merits, but that Christ only is Lord 
of all merits ; nor salvation, but that Christ is Lord of salva- 
tion. ' Wilt thou therefore be saved by merits ? ' would the 
angel say ; ' then pray to God in Christ's name, and thou 
shalt be saved by the merits of him, and have me, or some 
other, thy servant immediately to help thee unto the uttermost 
of our power, and to keep thee, and bring thee unto the 
reward of his merits.' If thou wouldest promise him to image- 
worship him with image-service, that is, to stick up a candle alhorredof 
before his image, or such an image as he appeared to thee in ; Ant.' ed. 
he would answer that he were a spirit, and delighted in no 
candle-light ; but would bid thee give a candle to thy neigh- 
bour that lacketh, if thou hadst too many. And so would he 
answer thee, if thou wouldest put money in a box for him, or God hateth 
clothe his image in cloth of gold, or put golden shoes upon his Am^'^ed'."""' 
image's feet. If thou saidst that thou wouldest build a chapel 
in his name, he would answer that he dwelt in no house made 
[3 So P. C. L. but in D. believest, so wert, 8^c.] 


with stones, but would bid thee go to the churches that are 

made already, and learn of the preachers there how to 

believe, and how to live, and honour God in the spirit ; for 

Churches tlio wliicli cause cliurclies were chiefly builded, and for quiet- 
were or- ^ • /> 1 

ti^amed for jjggg ^q pj-^y : aud if there be no church, then to give of that 
on'^thenaL t^o" maycst sparo, to help that one were builded to be a 
w.^t!*' preaching and a praying house, and of worshipping God in 
the spirit, and not of image-service. 

And if Paul appeared unto thee, what other thing could 
he answer also, than that he were a spirit, and would refuse 
all thy image-service ? And if thou speak to Paul of his 
merits, he can none otherwise answer thee than he answered 
his Corinthians : That he died for no man"'s sins, and that no 
man was baptized in his name, to trust in his merits. He 
would say, ' I builded all men upon Christ''s merits ; preaching 
that all that repented, and believed in his name, should 
be saved, and taken from under the wrath, vengeance, and 
damnation of the law, and be put under mercy and grace. 
And by this faith was I saved from damnation, and put under 
Christ hath mcrcy and grace, and made one with Christ, to have my part 
change with y^\\)(\ him, and he with me ; or rather to make a change, that 

us, for he _ _ . n 

upoVhhTaii ^'^ should have all my sins, and I his mercy and the gifts of 
pranted^us"'^ his gracc, and become glorious with the ornaments of his 
and'^ffts^of riches. And of my Saviour Christ I received this law, that I 
Aitred. should love my brethren, all God's elect, as tenderly as he 
loved them. And I consented unto this law, for it seemed 
right ; and became a scholar, to learn it. And as I profited 
in the knowledge, faith, and love of Christ, so I grew in the 
love of my brethren, and suffered all things for their sakes, 
and at the last waxed so perfect, that I wished myself damned 
(if it might have been) to save my brethren. And all my 
brethren, that received Christ, received the same command- 
ment, and grew therein. And they that were perfect loved 
me, and all their other brethren, no less than I loved them. 
Lovemaketh -^"d look, with what love I ministcrcd the gifts of grace, 
eommSn! whicli I reccivod of Christ for the edifying of his congregation, 
upon my brethren, with the same love did they minister their 
gifts again on me, which they had and I lacked ; and so love 
made all common. And moreover, if they call my works my 
merits, I bestowed all my works upon my brethren to teach 
them ; and reaped tlie fruit thereof, even my brethren's 


edifying and soul's health ; yea, and reap daily, in that I left 
my doctrine and ensample of living behind me, by which 
many are converted unto Christ daily. If thou desire there- 
fore to enjoy part of my merit, go and read in my gospel ; 
and thou shalt find the fruit of my labour, the knowledge of 
Christ, the health of the soul and everlasting life. 

'And as I loved my brethren when I lived, so I love them 
still, and now more perfectly. Howbeit my love then was 
painful: for the more I loved, the more I sorrowed, feared, st Paui was 
and cared for them, to bring them into the knowledge of the careful^ '^" 
truth, and to keep them in unity of faith, lest the false Ant. ed. ' 
prophets should deceive them, or their own infirmities should 
break peace and unity, or cause them to fall into any sin. 
But now my love is without pain. For I see the will and 
providence of God, and how the end of all things shall be 
unto his glory and profit of the elect. And though I see 
the elect shall sometime fall ; yet I see how they shall arise 
again, and how that their fall shall be unto the glory of God 
and their own profit. And we, that are in heaven, love you 
all ahke : neither love we one more and another less. And 
therefore if ye love us more one than another, that is fleshly; 
as mine old Corinthians once loved, and I rebuked them. 
Neither can we be moved to come more to help one than a good say- 
another ; but we wait when God will send any of us unto the Paui. 
elect, that call for help in Christ's name. Wherefore, if thou 
wilt be holpen of any of us, pray in Christ's name : and God 
shall send one of us, an angel or a saint, to keep the power 
of the devils from you ; but not whom thou wouldest choose, 
tempting God, but whom it pleaseth God to send. 

' And if your preachers love you not after the same 
manner, to edify you with the true doctrine of Christ and 
ensample of living thereafter, and to keep you in unity of 
faith and charity, they be not of Christ's disciples, but anti- 
christs, which, under the name of Christ, seek to reign over 
you as temporal tyrants. And in like manner, if this be not 
written in your hearts, that ye ought to love one another as 
Christ loved you, and as ye had ensample of us his apostles, 
ye go astray in vanities, and are not in the right way.' 

And hereby are we sure that we know him, if we keep his command- 




The state of 
grace. W. T. 

They that 
keep the 
ments are in 
the state of 
Ant. ed. 

When we do 
giod to our 
then we may 
be assured 
that we are 
in the state 
of grace. 
Ant. ed. 

This is clean against the doctrine of them which saj, 
that we cannot know whether we be in the state of grace or 
no. John saith, If we keep his commandments, then we be 
sure that we know Christ is everlasting life. Then, contrary 
to the bishop of Rome, christian men have doctrine to know 
whether they be in grace or no. 

The keeping of God's commandments certifieth us that 
we be in the state of grace. But our pharisaicaP doctors 
have no doctrine to know when a man is in a state of grace: 
wherefore it is manifest that they keep not God's command- 
ments, nor be in state of grace, but of all ungraciousness. 

Neither know such^ doctors whether they be in state of 
grace, but^ keep men's commandments : ergo, men's com- 
mandments certify not that we be in state of grace. Though 
thou have a devotion to stick up a candle before a post, and 
so forth, yet thou canst never be sure thereby, that thou art 
in the favour of God. But if thou have devotion to help thy 
brother in all his misfortunes, because he is the image of God 
and price of Christ's blood, then thy devotion certifieth thee 
that thou art in the favour of God, or state of grace. 

He that saith, I know him, and yet keepeth not his commandments, 
is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 

A sure ar- 
gument to 
know false 

When our Pharisees say, ' Do as we bid you, and not as 
we do;' they testify that they keep not God''s commandments: 
unto which testimony our eyes also bear record. And they 
that keep not God's commandments, be liars and have no truth 
in them: and then, when they preach, they cannot but preach 
lies ; and then, though they preach Christ, they preach him 
falsely, unto their fleshly vantage, and not our souls' health. 
And forasmuch as we may have no fellowship with them that 
keep not God's commandments, and inasmuch as all such are 
false prophets, void of all truth ; it followeth that we ought 
to give our doctors no* audience, though their defenders 
stood by them with their swords drawn ; but rather to lay 
down our heads, and stretch forth our necks to be slain. 

[1 So P. C. L., but D. omits plmrisaical.] 
[2 So P. C. L., but in D. our doctors know not.] 
[» So P. C. L., but D. our doctors keep, ^c] 
[* So P. C. L., but D. has none.] 


He that keepetli his word, in him verily is the love of God perfect, 
and hereby know we that we are in him. 

That is, he that keepeth his commandments, loveth un- 
feignedly ; and is thereby sure that he is in God. For to be to be in God 

a ./ ' c/ _ ^ IS to believe 

in God is to beheve in the mercy of God; and to beUeve in j," ^^^'^"'=y 
mercy is cause of love, and love cause of working. And ^"' ^'*- 
therefore he that worketh for God's sake, is sure that he 
loveth and that he trusteth in God ; which is to be in God or 
in Christ. And as by wilful keeping of the commandments a rule to 
we be sure that we love God, and believe in God ; even so whether we 

' ' love God, or 

through wilful breaking of them, we may be sure that we l^^"^^"?"" "°'- 
neither love nor believe in him, and therefore that we be not 
in him. 

He that saith he abideth in him, ought to walk as he walked. 

All that be baptized in Christ are washed in him, to put 
off pride, wrath, hate and envy, with all their old conver- 
sation, by which they oppressed their neighbours; and have 
promised to become, every man even as Christ himself unto 
his brethren, in love and kindness both in word and deed. 
They therefore which resist Christ's testament, and will not let 
it be known, and walk in the testament of the arch-priest of 
Rome^ with unions, pluralities and totquots, some one of 
them robbing ten parishes of the tenth of all their yearly Lookupon 

? • 1 1 • /. ^ ^.1, 1 , /. 1 the bishop of 

increase, and withdrawine; irom them God s word, the food Romes own 

o decrees. 

of their souls, and from the poor their daily sustenance, q^^^t. u'. ^d 
which ought to have their part in the tithes and other rents, o^>i«^niiace.5. 
when the preacher and other necessary ministers have out 
their parts, (a due and lawful stipend,) are not in Christ : 
for Christ neither so walked nor so taught. 

[5 In D. the marginal note to this passage is, " They that be ene- 
mies to the testament of Christ, and are teachers of man's inventions, 
are not in Christ." The marginal note given above is that found in 
the P. C. L. ed. Qu. ii. of causa xii contains no less than 75 capitula, 
the 26th of which, or Concesso, professes to be an extract from a 
rescript of pope Gelasius, Clero et ordiui et plebi Brundusii; in which 
he says, Reditus et oblationes fidelium in quatuor partes dividat 
[antistesj ; quarum unam episcopus sibi ipsi retineat ; alteram clericis 
pro officiorum suorum sedulitate distribuat ; fabricis tertiam ; quartam 
pauperibus et peregrinis habeat fideliter erogandam; quarum rationem 
divino est redditurus examini. The five next capitula are made up 
of decrees or affirmations, by popes and others, to the same effi3ct. 
Corp. Jur. Can. Deer. 2*^^ pars, Thielman Kerver. 1516.] 




An old com- 
mandment i 
the word 
which ye 
lieard from 
the be- 
Ant. ed. 

Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old com- 
mandment which ye had at the beginning: for an old command- 
ment is the word which ye heard fi'om the beginning. 

I write no new precept, but onlj put you in remembrance 
of that old, which was taught you when you were first bap- 
tized in Christ, to love each other as he did you : which is 
an old commandment, and was given at the beginning of the 
world, and hath ever since been written in the heart of all 
that put their hope in God. 

Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which is true in him, 
and also in you ; for the darkness is past, and the true light now 

The devil hath sown his darkness in the field where this 
commandment should grow ; and the weeds of men's traditions 
had overgrown the corn of this old commandment ; so that it 
was antiquated , and clean out of knowledge. But Christ, the 
light of all true doctrine, now shineth ; and hath scattered the 
darkness, and plucked up the weeds by the roots, and restored 
this old commandment again. And in him it is a true com- 
mandment ; for he loved truly. And in you it is a true com- 
mandment; for ye, for his sake, love one another truly also. 
And by the reason of this renewing it is called a new com- 
mandment, as it is now called a new learning, and may well so 
be ; for it hath lain long in darkness, and that in such darkness, 
that many be shrined for holy saints, whose deeds and living 
(when thou lookest upon them, conferring them to the light of 
this old doctrine, that now shineth again out of darkness) are 
abominable blasphemies to God's doctrine, the which they have 
sworn to teach and follow ^ 

He that 
hateth his 
brother is 

He that saith he is in the light, and yet hateth his brother, is in darkness. 

For whosoever feeleth his own damnation under the law, 
and believeth in the mercy that is in Christ, the same cannot 
but love Christ, and his neighbour for his sake. And therefore 
he that hateth his brother for any offence done to him, the 

[- So D. but in P. C. L. waxen old.] 

[2 Such is the conclusion of this paragraph in the P. C. L. edition ; 
but in Day's edition a contemptuous account of Cardinal Wolsey's death 
has been substituted for it.] 


same seeth not what Christ hath done for him, but is in in darkness, 

and seeth 

darkness still. Am^ed!''' 

He that lovetli his brother, abideth in the light, and there is none 
offending in him. 

Abideth in the light; that is, continueth in the knowledge to abide in 
of Christ. And there is none offending; in him ; that is, first, to abide in 

. . ' the know- 

he will willingly do nothing, either in word or in deed, that {?j|fj^°^ 

shall offend his brother : for love will not let him. And ■^"'- ^'*- 
secondarily, if aught ba. done or said, that may be well done 
or said, he taketh it to the best, and is not offended. And 
thus ye see that the knowledge of Christ is cause of all good- 
ness, and the ignorance of Christ cause of all evil. And so 
the doctrine of them is not false, which say that faith in Christ Faith in 
is root of all godly virtue, and the cause of keeping the com- roo"of aii 

11 ^ • 1 • 1 -1 • goodness. 

mandments; and where faith is, thereto be no sin nor damnation; Ant. ed. 
and that say unbelief to be the mother of all vice, and cause 
of breaking the commandments, and to keep men in sin and 
damnation only, as faith only looseth us thence. 

And he that hateth his brother is in darkness ; and walketh in darkness, 
and knoweth not whither he goeth : for darkness hath blinded 
his eyes. 

He that hateth his brother is in the ignorance of Christ He that 

° hateth his 

and of his own sin, and without repentance and faith that his brotherisin 

' i Ignorance. 

sins be forgiven him in Christ; and therefore is merciless unto Ant. ed. 
his brother, whom Christ commandeth him to pity and love. 
And in that ignorance he walketh, that is, worketh evil, and ignorance. 
loveth the things of the world, and seeketh in them the lusts 
of the flesh, which are the quenching of the Spirit and death 
of the soul, and for love of them hateth his brother. And this 
ignorance of Christ, which is unbelief, is the cause of all the 
wickedness that we do unto our brethren. 

I write unto you, little children, that your sins are forgiven you for his 
name's sake. I write unto you, fathers, that ye know him thit was 
from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, how that ye 
have overcome the wicked. 

I write unto you, that are young in the faith and yet when we 

1 J XT. i. /> 11 111 1 • haveoffended 

weak;, and. tnereiore lail now and then, how that your sins are our brother, 

«' if we recon- 

cile ourselves 

forgiven you, as soon as ye repent and reconcile yourselves 
unto your brethren whom ye have offended, even for his ■ 

unto him 




are our sir 
Ant. ed. 

We cannot 
know the 
Father, but 
by the Son. 
Ant. ed. 

Faith in 
the world. 
Ant. ed. 
Chap. V. 

name's sake only, and not for our own deeds, whether afore 
or after, or for any other man's deeds or satisfaction, save for 
his only. 

I write unto you, that are fathers in the doctrine of God, 
to teach other how that ye know him that was from the 
beginning, and is no new thing, though he newly received our 
natm'e. And through knowledge of him which is the only 
light, and the door unto the knowledge of God, ye are become 
fathers in the scriptures. Or else ye had never understood 
it, though ye had studied never so nnich : as it appeareth by 
the indurate Jews, and also by our own^ new Pharisees; which 
persecute the scripture, and the tr-ue sense thereof, because 
they be drowned in the ignorance of Christ, as their deeds 
and contrary living well testify. 

I write unto you, young men, that are strong in suffering 
persecutions, and fight for your profession, not with the sword, 
but with suffering, how that ye have overcome that wicked 
which poisoned the world at the beginning, and yet worketh 
in the children of darkness and unbelief; and that in beUeving 
the word of truth, as it folio weth anon after. 

I write unto you, young children, how that ye know the Father. I write 
unto you, fathers, how that ye know him that was from the beginning. 
I write unto you, young men, that ye be strong, and the word of God 
dwelleth in you, and that ye have overcome the wicked. 

I write unto you, young children, how that ye know the 
Father, whom ye love through knowledge of the Son ; or else 
you had never known him as a Father, but as a judge and a 
tyrant, and had hated him. I write unto you, fathers, as before, 
how ye are fathers of all truth, in knowing the Son : or else 
ye had ever continued in darkness remediless. 

I write unto you, young men, how that ye are strong, 
and that your strength is the word of God, which dwelleth in 
your breast through faith, in which ye have overcome the 
wicked devil, and all his pomps ; as it followeth : " This is the 
victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." 

Love not the world, nor the things that are in the world. If a man love 
the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in 
the world, as the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride 
of good, are not of the Father, but are of the world. And the world 

[1 In P. C. L own is wanting.] 


vanisheth away, and the lust thereof : but he that doeth the will of 
God abideth ever. 

The love of the world quencheth the love of God. Balaam, Avarice or 
for the love of the world, closed his eyes at the clear light ^y^ x?"^°"^' 
which he well saw. For love of the world the old Pharisees Theioveof 
blasphemed the Holy Ghost, and persecuted the manifest truth, draweth 

,.-., 11. 1 f ^ 11 many from 

which they could not improve. For love of the world many ^^^j''^;, 
are this day fallen away ; and many which stood on the truth's 
side, and defended it awhile, for love of the world have gotten 
them unto the contrary part, and are become the antichrist 
of Rome's mamelukes, and are waxen the most wicked enemies 
unto the truth, and most cruel against it. They know the 
truth, but they love the world : and when they espied that 
the truth could not stand with the honours which they sought 
in the world, they hated it deadly, and both wittingly and will- 
ingly persecuted it, sinning against the Holy Ghost : which 
sin. shall not escape here unpunished; as it shall not be without 
damnation in the world to come ; but shall have an end here 
with confusion and shame, as had Judas Iscariot, the traitor^. 

By the lust of the flesh is understood lechery, which maketh Theiustof 
a man altogether a swine ; and by the lust of the eyes is onhelyeT 
understood covetousness, which is the root of all evil, and 
maketh to err from the faith. And then followeth pride : i xim. vi. 
which three are the world, and captains over all other vices, 
and occasions of all mischief. 

And if pride, covetousness, and lechery be the world, as commre the 

_, _ . , . , , world to the 

ot John saith, then turn your eyes unto the spiritualty, unto i!?p<yT' 
the Roman bishop, cardinals, bishops, abbots, and all other ^^^y^^^*'^^" 
prelates, and see whether such dignities be not the world, and Antl^ldT"'^^'*' 
whether the way to them be not also the world ! To get the old 
abbot's treasure, I think it be the readiest way to be the new. 
How few come by promotion, except they buy it, or serve 
long for it, or both ! To be skilled in war and in polling, to 
maintain war and lusts, and to be a good ambassador, is the 
only way to a bishoprick, or to pay truly for it. See whether 
pluralities, unions, totquots, and changing the less benefice 
and bishoprick for the greater (for the contrary change I trow 
was never seen), may be without covetousness and pride. And 
then, if such things be the world, and the world not of God, 

[3 So P. C. L. ed., in D. there is another notice of Wolsey's death.] 

[tyndale, II.J 


Pride. how is our spiritualty of God? If pride be seeking of glory, 
John V. and they that seek glory cannot believe, how can our spiritu- 
covetous- alty believe in Christ? If covetousness turn men from the 

iiess. W. T. 

faith, how are our spiritualty in the faith ? If Christ, when 
the devil proffered him the kingdoms of the world and the 
glory thereof, refused them, as things impossible to stand with 
his kingdom, which is not of the world ; of whom are our 
spiritualty, which have received them ? If covetousness be a 
traitor, and taught Judas to sell his master ; how should he 
not in so long time teach our spiritualty the same craft? — 
namely when they be of all kings' secrets, and the ambassadors 
of their secrets, and have thereto throughout all Christendom 
a secret council of their own, of the which never lay-man was 
partaker, and with which they turn the end of all appointments 
unto their own honour and profit? Covetousness hath taught 
them to bring in damnable sects, according unto the prophecy 
of Peter, and to corrupt the scripture with false glosses, and 
Note. to turn every good ordinance, that had a virtuous beginning. 

The promo- uuto a vicious cud. The promotions of the spiritualty corrupt 
spiritualty their minds, while they be yet in the shell and unhatched : 

corrupt their • i <» i • i i 

minds. for they come thither but for covetousness, and to avoid the 

Ant. ed. <! ' 

cross of Christ in the world ; except them that be compelled 

of their friends, or be so simple that they mark not their 

falsehood beforehand. Who, knowing the truth and loving it, 

would put his head in the llomish bishop's halter, that so 

inuzzleth men's mouths that they cannot open them to defend 

any truth at all ? When temporal kings were in their high 

authority, then the general council repressed the enormities of 

the spiritualty. But since the antichrist of Rome, cardinals 

and bishops, were exalted, and the emperor and kings became 

Popes and their servants, they would suffer nought to be determined in 

suffeTno""" their councils that should reform the world of their devilish 

shLnVestrain prido, iusatiablo covetousness, and stinking lechery, which may 

and covetous- staud with no godly virtue. But the world, which is not of 

ness. Ant. ed. O ^ ' 

God, shall at the last have an end with confusion ; and they 
only abide that do the will of the Father, which will is, that 
we believe in the Son, and love one another. Let them 
therefore that have the world's good (I might say the world's 
covetousness god) use it, but not love it; that they maybe ready to bestow 
eyes of the it at tho plcasurc of God. And let them which have it not, 

seeing. i 

Drut.^xvi. desire it not, for it blindeth the eyes of the seeing; (Deut. xvi.) : 

11. 15 19.] FIRST EPISTLE OF ST JOHN. 179 

but let them put their trust in God, which shall not fail them, nor 
leave them destitute of raiment and food, which Paul counselleth 
to be content with. The rich (as James saith) persecute the 
true believers. The rich will never stand forth openly for the 
word of God. If of ten thousand there spring one Nicodemus, 
it is a great thing. 

Little children, it is now the last hour: and as ye have heard that 
antichrist should come, even so now are many antichrists come 
already ; whereby we know that it is the last hour. They went out 
of us, but were none of us ; for had they been of us, they had con- 
tinued with us. But that fortuned that it might appear, how they 
were not all of us. 

Hour is here taken for time ; the last hour is as much to what the 
say as the last time. Though the apostles might not know w!t°""^' 
when the last day shall be, and how long the world should 
endure, yet this was shewed them, and us by them, that 
antichrist should first come ; and not only come, but also pre- 
vail, and be received after a worldly manner, and reign over 
all ; and set up a long continuing kingdom, with damnable 
sects and wonderful kinds of hypocrisy, that is to say, false- 
hood cloaked under a contrary pretence, as testifieth Paul and 
also Peter. Which antichrist began with the apostles, and Antichrist. 
sowed his doctrine among the doctrine of the apostles ; preach- 
ing many things as the apostles did, and adding ever somewhat 
of his own, that the weeds might ever grow up together with 
the corn. Of which John gathered a sign, that the last 
day drew nigh ; though he could not be sure how long it were 

Antichrist is one of the first that seeth the light, and cometh The worw- 
and preacheth Christ awhile, and seeketh his glory in Christ's ppei"s^^ 
gospel. But when he espieth that there will no glory cleave bringetu 
unto that preaching, then he getteth him to the contrary part, ^nt. ed. 
and professeth himself an open enemy, if he cannot disguise 
himself, and hide the angle of his poisoned heresy under a 
bait of true doctrine. 

The apostles were clear-eyed, and espied antichrist at 
once, and put him to flight, and weeded out his doctrine 
quickly. But when charity waxed cold, and the preachers 
began to seek themselves, and to admit glory and honour of 
riches ; then anticlirist disguised himself after the fashion of a 
true apostle, and preached Christ wilily, bringing in now this 




The papists 
powdered the 
doctrine of 
Christ with 
their dregs. 
Ant. ed. 

The pope 
hath put 
Christ from 
his rule and 
Ant. ed. 

hath been 
long among 
us. W.T. 

tradition, and now that, to darken the doctrine of Christ ; and 
set up innumerable ceremonies, and sacraments, and imagery, 
giving them significations at the first ; but at the last, the 
significations laid apart, preached the work as an holy deed, 
to justify and to put away sin, and to save the soul, that men 
should put their trust in works, and in whatsoever was unto 
his glory and profit; and under the name of Christ ministered' 
Christ out of all together 2, and became head of the congrega- 
tion himself. 

The bishop of Rome made a law of his own, to rule his 
church by, and put Christ's out of the way. All the bishops 
swear unto the bishop of Rome, and all curates unto the 
bishops; but all forswear Christ and his doctrine. 

But seeing John took a sign of the last day, that he saw 
antichrist begin, how nigh ought we to think that it is, which, 
after eight hundred years reigning in prosperity, see it decay 
again, and his falsehood to be disclosed, and him to be slain 
with the spirit of the mouth of Christ ; that is, with that old 
doctrine that proceeded out of Christ's mouth : for Paul saith, 
when antichrist is uttered^, then cometh the end. 

The carnal 
man linow- 
eth not the 
tilings of the 
Spirit of God. 
Ant. ed. 

But ye have anointing of that holy, and know all things. I write not 
unto you as though ye knew not the truth, but as unto them that 
know it, and know that no lie is of truth. 

Christ in the scripture is called The Holy ; because he 
only sanctifieth, and hallo weth us. And he is called Christ, 
that is to say, anointed ; because he anointeth our souls with 
the Holy Ghost, and with all the gifts of the same. Ye are 
not anointed with oil in your bodies, but with the Spirit of 
Christ in your souls : which Spirit teacheth you all truth in 
Christ, and maketh you to judge what is a lie, and what 
truth, and to know Christ from antichrist. For except he 
taught your souls within, the pouring in of words at your 
ears were in vain. For they must be all taught of God : 
and the things of God no man knoweth, save the Spirit of 
God ; and the carnal man knoweth not the things of the 
Spirit of God; when contrary, the spiritual, that is anointed 

[1 So D., but P. C. L. has mustered.'] 

[2 That is, so served Christ as to turn him out of the possession of 
every thing.] 

[3 Made conspicuous. See Vol. i. p. 12.] 

11.18 21.] FIRST EPISTLE OF ST JOHN. 181 

with the Spirit, judgeth all things. And therefore we are i cor. a. 
forbidden to call us any master upon earth ; seeing we have Matt, xxiii. 
all one master now in heaven, which only teacheth us with 
his Spirit, though by the administration and office of a faithful 
preacher : which preacher yet cannot make his preaching 
spring in the heart, no more than a sower can make his corn 
grow, nor can say, 'This man shall receive the word^ and 
this not;' but soweth the word only, and committeth the 
growing to God, whose Spirit breatheth where he listeth, and 
maketh the ground of whose heart he lusteth fruitful, and 
chooseth whom he will at his own pleasure, and for no other 
cause known unto any man. 

Who is a liar, but he that denieth that Jesus is Christ ? The same is 
antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 

' Forasmuch as antichrist and Christ are two contraries. Antichrist, 
and the study of antichrist is to quench the name of Christ, Ant.ed^ 
how can the Romish bishop and his sects be antichrist, when 
they all preach Christ?' 'How was,' say I again to thee, 
'Pelagius, whose doctrine the bishop of Rome defendeth in 
the highest degree, antichrist, and all other heretics ? ' Verily, 
sir, the bishop of Rome seeketh himself, as all heretics did ; 
and abuseth the name of Christ, to gather offerings, tithes 
and rents in his name, to bestow them unto his own honour 
and not Christ's, and to bring the conscience of the people The pope 

.. 11- 11 •• n 11 captivateth 

into captivity under mm through superstitious tear, as though the under- 
he had such authority given him of Christ. And every ^{^^^^ 
syllable, that hath a sound as though it made for his purpose, rliesand'""^ 
that he expoundeth falsely and fleshly; and therewith juggleth rm.^d?^^' 
and bewitcheth the ears of the people, and maketh them his 
own possession, to believe what him listeth ^ as though it made 
no matter to them whether he preached true or false, so they 
behove and do as he biddeth them. But all the texts that shew 
him to do his duty^, he putteth out of the way ; and all the 
texts thereto, that set the consciences at liberty in Christ, and 
prove our salvation to be in Christ only. And, with Pelagius, ofRomeTnd 
he preacheth the justifying of works ; which is the denying oi ^ee. 

["* So P. C. L., in D. the word is wanting.] 

[5 D. has lusteth.] 

[6 So P. C. L., but in D. shew his duty to do.] 






Curteis, a 
Ant. ed. 

Dead men. 
Poor men. 

Christ. He preacheth a false binding and loosing with ear- 
confession, which is not in the trust and confidence of Christ's 
blood-shedding. He preacheth the false penance of deeds ; 
not to tame the flesh that we sin no more, but to make satis- 
faction, and to redeem the sin that is past : which what 
other can it be, save the denying of Christ, which is the only- 
redemption of sin? He maketh of the works of the cere- 
monies, which were wont to be signs and remembrances of 
things to be believed or done, image-service unto God and his 
saints, which are spirits, to purchase with the merits of them 
whatsoever the blind soul imagineth ; which all are the 
denying of Christ. For if thou wilt receive any anointing of 
grace or mercy any whence, save of him, he is no longer 
Christ unto thee. Christ is called Jesus, a Saviour ; he is 
called Christus, king anointed over all men, of whom they 
must hold, and whose benefit must all they have. He is 
called Emmanuel, God is with us : for he only maketh God 
our God, our strength, power, sword and shield, and shortly 
our Father. He is called Sanctus, that is, holy, that hallo w- 
eth, sanctifieth and blesseth all nations. And these be his 
names for ever, and be no names of hypocrisy : as we some- 
times call him Thomas Curteis ^ which is but a churl; and 
as we call them curates, which care for their parishes as the 
wolf for the flock ; and them bishops, that are overseers, 
which will so oversee, that they will suffer nought to be 
prosperous save their own commonwealth ; and as some call 
themselves dead, which live in all voluptuousness; and as 
some call themselves poor, without having any thing proper 2, 
and yet live in all abundance ; and as they shave and disguise 
themselves with garments and ornaments, to signify ever a 
contrary thing than that they be. 

Nay, Christ is no hypocrite, or disguised, that playeth a 
part in a play, and representeth a person, or state, which he 
is not ; but is alway that his name signifieth, he is ever a 
Saviour, and ever anointeth^ with grace, and ever maketh 

[1 Archdeacon Todd in his edition of Johnson's Dictionary- 
traces the word courteous to the gothic Kurteis, as its earliest known 

[2 That is, of their own : he alludes to the vow of mortification made 
by all monastic orders; and that of poverty made by the mendicant friars.] 

[3 So D., but P. C. L. has anointed.] 

II. 22 27.] FIKST EnSTLE OF ST JOHN. 183 

God with us, and ever sanctifieth. Neither is there any other 
to save and sanctify from sin, or anoint with grace, or to set 
God at one with men. And these things, which his name 
signify, doth he ever unto all that have trust and confidence 
in his blood, as soon as they repent of the sin which they 
desire to be saved and sanctified from. 

Now though the bishop of Eome and his sects give J,^^f;^P*- 
Christ these names, yet in that they rob him of the effect, and are rfghiP* 
take the significations of his names unto themselves, and make Tnt^ed?^'' 
of him but an hypocrite, as they themselves be, they be the 
right antichrists, and deny both the Father and Son. For 
they deny the witness that the Father bare unto his Son, and 
deprive the Son of all the power and glory that his Father 
gave him. 

Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father. 

For no man knoweth the Father, but the Son, and to xo know 
whom the Son sheweth him. Moreover, if thou know not the Ant.ed. 
mercy that God hath shewed thee in Christ, thou canst not 
know him as a Father. Thou mayest well, besides^ Christ, 
know him as a tyrant. And thou mayest know him by his 
works, as the old philosophers did, that there is a God; but 
thou canst neither believe in his mercy, nor love his laws, 
which is his only worship in the spirit, save by Christ. 

Let therefore abide in you that which ye heard at the beginning. If 
that which ye heard at the beginning shall remain in you, then 
shall ye continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the 
promise that he hath promised us, everlasting life. 

If we abide in the old doctrine which the apostles taught. The aposties- 
and hearken to no new learning^; then abide we in the Son ought we to 

'-' abide by. 

(for upon the Son build they us), and in the Father through w- t. 
confidence in the Son ; and are heirs of everlasting life. 

These things have I written unto you, because of them that deceive 
you. And the anointing that ye received of him dwelleth in you, 
and ye need not that any man teach you ; but as that anointing 
teacheth you of all things, and is true, and is no lie, even as 
it hath taught you, so abide therein. 

"When a true preacher preacheth, the Spirit entereth the 
hearts of the elect, and maketh them feel the righteousness 

[4 That is, apart from.'] 

[5 In D. learning is omitted.] 

Outward oil 


of the law of God, and by the law the poison of their corrupt 
nature ; and thence leadeth them, through repentance, unto 
the mercy that is in Christ's blood ; and as an ointment 
healeth the body, even so the Spirit, through confidence and 
trust in Christ's blood, healeth the soul, and maketh her love 
the law of God ; and therefore is it called anointing or an 
Anointing. Ointment, and may well be signified by the oil of our sacra- 
ment. But outward oil can neither heal the soul, nor make 
her feel, save as a sign, or as a bush at a tavern door quench- 
eth a man's thirst, neither is it a thing to put trust in. Let 
us therefore follow the teaching of the Spirit ; which we have 
received as (Paul saith) an earnest, to certify our hearts, and 
to make us feel the things of God, and not cleave unto the 
traditions of men ; in which is no feeling, but that one saith 
so, and another thus, confirming their assertions with glorious 
persuasions of wisdom, but not after the wisdom of God : 
which reasons another denieth with contrary sophisms ; and 
so riseth brawhng about vain words, without certainty ^. 

And now, little children, abide in him, that when he shall appear, we may- 
have confidence, and not be made ashamed of him at his coming. 

We must Here are two things to be marked : one, if we cleave unto 

doXfne^of^ Christ after the doctrine of the apostles, and as they built us 

Ant. ed. ' upon him, we shall be bold and sure of ourselves at his coming ; 

as a servant, which in his master's absence doth only his 

master's commandments, cannot be confounded at his coming 

home again. But and if we follow men's doctrine, how can we 

be bold, yea, how should we not be ashamed with our teachers, 

unto whom he shall then^ say (when they boast themselves 

A sore saying how that they havo been his vicars), ' I know you not : 

to all hypo- j , n i-ii 

teiehers of "^P^'"*' *^^°^ ^^' J^ that havc wrought wickedness, and under 

uine.'^"''" ™y name have brought in damnable sects, and have taught 

Ant.ed. jQ^Y digciples to bohove in other things than in me.' Now 

the sum of all that the apostles taught, and how they built us 

upon Christ, is the new Testament. But the bishop of Rome's 

doctrine is not there found, but improved^ Confounded there- 

[1 In Day, without all certainty.] 
[2 So P. C. L., but D. then he should.] 

[3 So D., but P. C. L. has founded, but even improved. The reader 
will remember that by improved T. means reproved.] 

11.28,29.] FIRST EPISTLE OF ST JOHN. 185 

fore shall he be, which, witting and willing, shutteth his eyes 
at the true light, and openeth them to believe his lies. 

Another thing is this : all the scripture maketh mention 
of the resurrection and coming again of Christ, and that all 
men, both they that go before, and they that come after, shall 
then receive their rewards together ; and we are commanded 
to look every hour for that day. And what is done with the 
souls, from the departing of'* their bodies unto that day, doth 
the scripture make no mention ; save only that they rest in 
the Lord, and in their faith. Wherefore he that determineth 
aught of the state of them that be departed, doth but teach 
the presumptuous imaginations of his own brain ; neither can 
his doctrine be any article of our faith. What God doth with we must 
them is a secret laid up in the treasury of God : and we resurrection, 
ought to be patient, being certified of the scripture, that they curious to 

~ , , ^ ^ " understand 

which die in the faith are at rest, and ought no more to search ^^l f ^'f °f 

' o the souls de- 

that secret, than to search the hour of the resurrection, which \heyt.xe,^nor 

God hath put only in his own power. But this remember, that do^.'' Ant^'ed. 

the whole nature of man is poisoned and infected with sin. 

And the whole life of sin must be mortified. Now the root 

of all sin, and first vice that^ we were infect with, is, that we 

would be wise where God hath not taught us ; as ye see how 

Eve would have been as God, in the knowledge of good and 

bad. And therefore hath God hid many things in his power ; 

and commanded that we shall search none of his secrets 

further than he hath opened them in his scripture, to mortify 

this poison of all poisons, the desire to appear wise, and that 

we be ashamed to be ignorant in any thing at all. Wherefore 

they that violently make articles of the faith, without God's 

word, are yet alive in the root of all sin and vice, and 

grow out of the devil, and not out of Christ. And their 

articles are of the bhndness of the devil, and not of the light 

of Christ ; for Christ''s light hath testimony of the scripture 


If ye know that he is righteous, know that all that work righteousness 
are born of him. 

Our nature is to work wickedness, and so blind thereto 
that it can see no righteousness. And then it followeth that 

[4 So P. C. L., but D. has their departing .'\ 

[5 So P. C. L., but D. has and for now, and omits that.'] 


we must be born anew in Christ, ere we^ can either do or yet 
know what is righteous. And in him we must first be made 
righteous ourselves, ere we can work righteous works ; which 
conclusion is contrary unto the bishop of Rome : for he saith, 
that the works do make the man righteous ; and Christ's 
doctrine saith, that the man maketh the works righteous. 
A righteous man springeth out of righteous works, saith the 

The doctrine 
of the pope 

tra'ry'to'^°"" bisliop of Romo's doctrino : righteous works spring out of a 

Clirist's doc- 
Ant. ed 

righteous man, and a righteous man springeth out of Christ, 
saith Christ's doctrine : the works make the man righteous, 
which before was wicked, saith the bishop of Rome : the 
works declare that the man is righteous, saith Christ's doc- 
trine : but the man was first made righteous, in Christ ; and 
the Spirit of Christ taught him what righteousness was, and 
healed his heart, and made him consent thereto, and to have 
his lust in righteousness, and to work righteously. 


Behold, what love the Father hath shewed us, that we should be 
called the sons of God. For this cause the world knoweth you 
not, because it knoweth not him. Dearly beloved, now we are the 
■ sons of God, though yet it appeareth not what we shall be: but 
we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him ; for we 
shall see him as he is. 

The love of God to us-ward is exceeding great, in that he 
hath made us his sons, without all deserving of us ; and hath 
given us his Spirit through Christ, to certify our hearts 
thereof, in that we feel that our trust is in God, and that our 
souls have received health and power to love the law of God ; 
which is a sure testimony that we are sons, and under no 
damnation. Neither ought it to discourage us, or to make us 
think we were less beloved, because the world hateth us, and 
The world persocutcth us; for the world knoweth us not. Neither let^ 

could not 1 n t iiii i .r~.i . 

k^ow Christ, any marvel ; for the world could not know Christ himself, for 

all his glorious coming with miracles and benefits, in healing 

the sick and raising the dead. But for all the oppression of 

the world, we are yet sure that we are God's sons. And in 

[1 In P. C. L., ere we be, or can.] 

[2 So P. C. L., but D. wants let.] 


like manner, though the glory, that we shall be in, appear 
not, yet we are sure that we shall be like him, when he 
appeareth. As darkness vanisheth away at the coming of 
the sun, and the world receiveth a new fashion, and is turned 
into liffht, and suddenly made glorious ; even so when he The wona 

o ■' shall know 

appeareth, and we shall see him as he is, we shall, with the chrut. 
sight^ of him, be changed into the glory of his image, and 
made like him. And then shall the world both know him 
and us, unto their shame and confusion. 

And all that have this hope in him purge themselves as he is pure. 

The faith and hope of a christian man are no dead, idle, ^ christian 

* ^ ' ' man s laith 

or barren things; but lively, working, and fruitful. For when notid?r'"^ 

the law through conscience of sin hath slain the soul, then '^°'" ^^' 

hope and trust in Christ's blood, through certifying of the 

conscience that the damnation of the law is taken away, 

quickeneth her again ; and maketh her to love the law, which 

is the purifying of the soul, and her life, and serving the law 

in the inner man. And then the said gifts, of hope and faith, 

stretch themselves forth unto the members, dead with natural 

lust, consent, and custom to sin; and quicken them, and purge 

them with the wholesome penance of Christ's doctrine ; and jhe faith of 

make them serve the law outward, and bear wholesome fruit 

of love unto the profit of their neighbours, according to 

Christ's love unto us. For if the Spirit of Christ, with which 

God anointeth us and maketh us kings, and sealeth us and 

maketh us his sure and several kingdom, and which he giveth 

us in earnest (2 Cor. i.), and with which he changeth us into 2 cor i. 

the image of Christ (2 Cor. iii.), dwell in our souls through 2 cor. iii. 

faith, the same Spirit cannot but quicken the members also, 

and make them fruitful, (Rom. viii.) Wherefore the faith and Rom.viis. 

hope of the Roman bishop, which by their own confession J'?1p°?^'V 

may stand with all wickedness, and consent unto all evil, and 

be without repentance toward God's law (as it appeareth by 

their three capital sins, touched of John a little above, pride, 

covetousness and lechery), are no true faith and hope, but 

vain words and visors only, according to his other disguising 

and names of hypocrisy. 

[3 So D., but P. C. L. has light.} 

a christian 
W. T. 


All that commit sin commit unrighteousness ; for sin is unrighteous- 

That the English calleth here unrighteousness, the Greek 
calleth anomia, unlawfulness or breaking the law : so that 
all sin is breaking of God's law ; and only the transgression 
law is sin. Now all God's laws are contained in 
these two points ; believe in Christ, and love thy neighbour. 
And these two points are the interpreting and expounding of 
all laws : so that whatsoever edifieth in faith and love, is to 
be kept as long as it so doth ; and whatsoever hurteth faith 
or love, is to be broken immediately, though bishop \ king, 
emperor, or an angel command it. And all indifferent things, 
that neither help nor hurt faith and love, are whole in the 
hands of father, mother, master, lord and prince. So that 
if they will sin against God, and overlade our backs, we may 
well run away, if we can escape ; but not avenge ourselves. 
But and if they will break into thy conscience, as the bishop 
of Rome doth with his dumb traditions, and saith, ' To do 
this saveth thy soul, and to leave it undone loseth thy soul;' 
then defy them as the works of antichrist, for they make 
thee sin against the faith that is in Christ's blood, by which 
only thy soul is saved, and for lack of that only damned. 
breaketh Aud how lovo brcakoth the law, take an example. It is a 
good law that men come to the church on the Sundays, to 
hear God's word, and to receive the sacrament of the body 
and blood of Christ, in remembrance of his benefits, and so to 
strengthen thy soul for to walk in his love, and in the love 
of our neighbour for his sake, &c. ; yet if my father, mother, 
or any other that requireth my help be sick, I break that good 
commandment, to do my duty to my elders or my neighbour. 
And thus all laws are under love, and give room to love : 
and love interpreteth them, yea and breaketh them at a time, 
though God himself command them. For love is lord over 
all laws, and the thing that Christ commanded above all 
others 2. 

And ye know that he appeared to take away our sins ; and there is no 
sin in him. 

Christ died not alone to purchase pardon for our fore-sins, 

\} So P. C. L., but D. has king, emperor, pope.'] 

[2 So P. C. L., but this last clause is not found in D.] 

the la 
Ant. ed. 

in. 4 7-] FIRST EPISTLE OF ST JOHN. 189 

but also to slay all sin and the life of sin in our members. 
For all we that are baptized in the name of Christ, saith Paul 
(Rom. vi.), are baptized to die with him concerning sin ; and Th^-^'-fi 
that, as he after his resurrection dieth no more, so we after ba'i^sm^""'" 
our baptism should walk in a new life, and sin no more. Our ^•^• 
members are crucified with him, in all that pertaineth unto 
the life of sin. And if in Christ be no sin, then how can 
there be wilful sin in the faith that is in him, or in the quick 
members, that through faith grow out of him ? Every man 
therefore that hath the true faith of Christ, purgeth himself, 
as he is pure. 

All that abide in him sin not. And all that sin have neither seen him 
nor known him. 

As there is no sin in Christ the stock, so can there be 
none in the quick members, that live and grow in him by 
faith. And they that give themselves to sin, have neither 
seen, known, or felt by faith, the mercy that is in him. Our Thefiithiness 
holy father then, which forbiddeth matrimony, and giveth his doctrine, 
disciples licences, with his holy blessing, to keep whores, and 
pluralities, unions, and totquots, to rob the parishens^, hath 
neither seen nor known Christ ; no more have his disciples, 
that consent unto his iniquity. And if they know him not, 
they cannot truly describe him unto us. It followeth then, 
that their preaching is but hypocrisy. 

Little children, let no man beguile you. He that worketh righteousness 
is righteous, as he is righteous. 

Judge men by their deeds. For whosoever hath the where true 
light of God in his soul, he will let his light shine, that men proceedeth 

° , O ' good works. 

shall see his good works. And therefore where ye see not 
the righteousness of works in the members outward, there, be 
sure, is no righteousness of faith in the heart inward. Let no 
man mock you with vain words. Whosoever preacheth Christ 
in word and deed, him take for Christ's vicar. And them that chrisfs vicar. 
would prove themselves his vicars with sophistry, and, when ^' ^' 
it is come to the point, make a sword only their mighty ar- 
guments, and live contrary to all his doctrine, and in all 
their preachings blaspheme and rail on his blessed blood, take 
for the vicars of antichrist. 

[3 Parishioners: see Vol. i. p. 257.] 

The man is 
first evil 


He that sinnetli is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the be- 
ginning. But for this cause appeared the Son of God, even to 
destroy the works of the devil. All that are born of God do no 

• Bin : for his seed abideth in them ; and they cannot sin, because 
they be born of God: And hereby are the sons of God known, 
and also the sons of the devil. 

God and the devil are two contrary fathers, two con- 
trary fountains, and two contrary causes: the one of all good- 
ness, the other of all evil. And they that do evil are born 
of the devil ; and first evil by that birth, ere they do evil. 
For ere a man do any evil outward, of purpose, he conceived 

^' ^" that evil first in his mind, and consented unto it, and so was 

evil in his heart ere he wrought evil ; and ere he conceived 
evil in his heart, he was born of the devil, and had received of 
his seed and nature ; by the reason of which nature, seed and 
birth, he worketh evil naturally, and can do no other : as 

johnviii. Christ saith, (John viii.) "Ye are of your father the devil, 
and therefore will do the lusts of your father." For it is a 
common proverb, the child followeth his father's nature ^ 

The man is And on the other side, they that do good are first born 

first good. '' ° 

w. T. of God, and receive of his nature and seed ; and, by the 

reason of that nature and seed, are first good ere they do 
good, by the same rule. And Christ, which is contrary to 
the devil, came to destroy the works of the devil in us, and 
to give us a new birth, a new nature, and to sow new seed in 
us, that we should, by the reason of that birth, sin no more. 
For the seed of that birth, that is to wete the Spirit of God 
and the hvely seed of his word sown in our hearts, keepeth 
our hearts, that we cannot consent to sin ; as the seed of the 
devil holdeth the hearts of his, that they cannot consent to 

documr" good 2. This is contrary unto the bishop of Rome in two 
points : in the one, that he saith, that our good deeds make 
us first good, and teacheth us not to believe in Christ's blood, 
there to be washed and made first good ; and in another, 
that he saith, God chooseth us first for our good qualities and 
properties, and for the enforcement and good endeavour of 
our free-will. What good endeavour is there, where the devil 
possesseth the whole heart, that it can consent to no good ? 

[1 So P. C. L., but in D. the paragraph ends with the quotation 
from John viii.] 

[2 So D., but P. C. L. has God.] 

Ant. ed. 


And, finally, there is great difference between the sin of The faithful 
them that believe in Christ unfeio;nedly, and the sin of them faithfuisin 

° "^ ' . diversly. 

that believe not. For they that believe sin not of purpose w. t. 
and of consent to wickedness, that it is good, casting and 
compassing aforehand, without grudge of conscience, to bring 
their purpose about : as ye see our hypocrites have vexed 
all Christendom this twenty years, to bring a little lust to 
effect^. Their fathers conceived mischief these eight hundred 
years ago ; and the sons consent unto the same, and have 
no power to depart therefrom : and therefore their sin is 
devilish, and under the damnation of the law. But if he that 
believeth sin, he doth it not of purpose, or that he con- 
senteth unto the life of sin ; but of infirmity, chance, and 
some great temptation that hath overcome him. And there- 
fore his sin is venial, and under mercy and grace, though it 
be murder, theft, or adultery ; and not under the damnation 
of the law : so that his father shall scourge him, but not cast 
him away, or damn him. Mark the sin of Saul and of David. 
Saul ever excused his sin, and could not but persecute the 
will of God; and David confessed his sin, with great re- 
pentance, at the first warning, whensoever he forgot himself. 

All that work not righteousness are not of God ; nor he that loveth 
not his brother. For this is the tidings which ye heard at the 
beginning, that we should love one another, and not be as Cain, 
which was of the devil and slew his brother. And wherefore slew 
he him? For his deeds were evil, and his brother's righteous. 
Marvel not my brethren though the world hate you. 

The law of righteousness is, that we love one another as 
Christ loved us ; and he that hath not this love^ Hving in 
his heart, and, when the time is, bringeth not forth the fruits 
thereof, the same is not of God, but of the devil ; whose birth 
and properties of the same ye see described in Cain, how he 
resisted God, and persecuted the children of God for their 
belief and works thereof. And as ye see in Cain and his 
brother Abel, so shall it ever continue, between the children 
of God and of the devil, unto the world's end. Wonder not 
therefore, though the world hate you. 

[3 This sentence is not in P. C. L., but is found in D. : and the 
expression their fathers, in the next sentence, seems to require some 
such antecedent as our hypocrites.l 

[1 So P. C. L., but D. has law.] 


We know that we are translated from death to life, because we love 
the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. 
AU that hate their brethren are murderers ; and ye know that no 
murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 

If thou love thy brother in Christ, and art ready to do 
and to suffer for him, as Christ did for thee, then thou art 
sure thereby, that thou art the son of God, and heir of hfe, 
and dehvered from death and damnation. So have Christian 
men signs, to know whether they be in the state of grace or 
no. And on the other side, he that hath no power to love 
his brethren, may be sure that he is in the state of death and 
damnation. Another is this, let every man look upon his 
heart, and be sure that he which hateth his brother hath slain 
him before God, and is a murderer. And murderers shall 
c^a'-'*'- not obtain the kingdom of God, but are Cain's brethren and 
the devil's children, and are heirs of death, and ever under 
damnation. Compare the regiment of the spiritualty, which 
have had the temporal sword in their hands now above eight 
hundred years, unto this doctrine of John; and judge whether 
they have led us truly after the steps of Christ's doctrine, 
or no^ 

Hereby we are assured of love, because he left his life for us ; and 
therefore ought we to leave our lives for our brethren. He then 
that hath the substance of the world, and seeth his brother have 
need, and shutteth up his compassion from him, how dwelleth the 
love of God in him ? 

If we felt the love of Christ's death, it would sure set our 
heart on fire to love him again, and our brethren for his sake, 
and should never cease to slay our resisting members, until 
we could not only be well content that our brethren were in 
a more prosperous state than we, but also until we could bless 
TOmjJ^nfe'^^" them when they curse us, and pray for them when they per- 
secute us, and to suffer death for them, to testify the word 
of their soul's health unto them, and with love to overcome 
them, and to win them unto Christ. If now every christian 
man ought to have this rule of his profession before his eyes 
to learn it, that he should love his brother as Christ did him, 
to depart with his life for his brother's example, how far are 
they off from good scholars, that cannot find in their hearts 

[1 So P. C. L., but D. omits or no.] 

evil with 


to depart with a little of the abundance and superfluity of 
their temporal goods, to help their neighbour's need ! 

My little children, let us not love in word, nor with the tongue ; but 
with the deed, and of a truth. For thereby we know that we be of 
the truth, and so shall we certify our hearts in his sight. 

If we have power to work, then doth the work certify our 
hearts that our faith in Christ, and love to God and our 
neighbour for his sake, are unfeigned ; and that we are true 
children, and no hypocrites. And then are we bold in our 
conscience before God. And this is it that Peter meaneth d^dfrewhe 
(2 Pet. i.), where he biddeth us minister in our faith virtue 2, f°l]lf^ 
godly living, and all manner of good works, and therewith to ^ ^^'" '" 
make our vocation and election, or our calling and choosing, 
sure. For the sight of the work doth certify us, that God 
hath called us and chosen us unto grace and mercy. 

But and if, when the time of working is come, we fly and 
have no power to work, then will our conscience accuse 
us of sin and transgression within the heart before God; and 
so, for fear of the rod, we dare not be bold, but draw back 
and stand aloof. 

Let a child have never so merciful a father, yet if he 
break his father's commandments, though he be not under 
damnation, yet is he ever chid and rebuked, and now and 
then lashed with the rod ; by the reason whereof he is never 
bold in his father's presence. But the child that keepeth 
his father's commandments, is sure of himself, and bold in his 
father's presence, to speak and ask what he will. "They that iTim. iii. 
minister well get them good degree, and great confidence in 
the faith that is in Christ Jesus," saith PauP, He that worketh 
is bold before God and man : for his conscience accuseth him 
not within, neither have we ought to wite^ him withal, or to 
cast in his teeth. And as without the sight of the works Jacob james a. 
the apostle cannot see thy faith (James ii.), no more shalt thou 
ever be sure or bold before God or man. 

P So Tyndale has rendered 'ETnxoprjyrjaaTe iv rfi TvlcrTei v^jlwv ttjv 
aperfjv &c., in his translation of 2 Pet. i. 5 : 'In your faith minister 
virtue, and in virtue knowledge, &c.'] 

[3 For they that minister well get themselves good degree, and 
great liberty in the faith which is in Christ Jcsu. Tyndale's Trans.] 

[4 Wite: blame. See Vol. i. p. 164.] 

[tyndale, II.J 


But if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and 
knovveth all things. 
If our conscience accuse us of sin, God is so great and so 
mighty that it cannot be hid. 

Dearly beloved, if our hearts condemn us not, then we trust to God- 
ward. And whatsoever we ask, that shall we receive of him ; 
because we keep his commandments, and do the things which are 
pleasant in his sight. 

Keeping of the commandments maketh a man see his faith, 
and to be bold therein. And faith, when it is -without con- 
science of sin, goeth in to God boldly ; and is strong and 
mighty in prayer to conjure God by all his mercies, and 
therewith obtaineth whatsoever he asketh of all his promises. 
And the text saith, " because we keep his commandments." 
Yea, verily his commandments make us bold. But the keeping 
of men's traditions and dumb ceremonies make us not bold 
before God, nor certify our conscience that our faith is un- 
feigned. Thou shalt not know, by sprinkling thyself with holy 
Avater, nor kissing the pax^, nor with taking ashes, or though 
thou were anointed with all the oil in Thames street, that thy 
faith is sure. But and if thou couldest find in thine heart to 
bestow both life and goods upon thy neighbour in a just cause, 
and hast proved it; then art thou sure, that thou lovest Christ, 
and feelest that thou hast thy trust in his blood. 

And this is his commandment. That we believe in his Son Jesus Christ, 
and love one another, as he gave commandment. 

Faith is the first, and also the root, of all commandments: 
and out of faith springeth love ; and out of love, works. And 
^!"t!' when I break any commandment, I sin against love ; for had 
I loved, I had not done it : and when I sin against love, I 
sin against faith ; for had I earnestly, and with a full trust, 
remembered the mercy that Christ hath shewed me, I must 
have loved. Wherefore when we have broken any command- 
ment, there is no other way to be restored again, than to go 
through repentance unto our faith again, and ask mercy for 
Christ's sake. And as soon as we have received faith that 
our sin is forgiven, we shall immediately love the command- 
ment again, and through love receive power to work. 

[1 See Vol. I. p. 279.] 

Faith is the 
root of all 


And he that keepeth his commandments abideth in him, and he in 
him. And hereby we know that there dwelleth in us of his Spirit 
which he gave us. 

Through the works we are sure that we continue in 
Christ, and Christ in us ; and that his Spirit dwelleth in us. 
For his Spirit it is that keepeth us in faith, and through faith 
in love, and through love in works. 


Dearly beloved, believe not every spu-it, but prove the spirits 
whether they be of God. For many false prophets are gone out 
into the world. 

Spirits are taken here for preachers, because of the spirits. 
preaching or doctrine, which, if it be good, then is it^ of the 
Spirit of God ; and if it be evil, of the spirit of the devil. 
ISTow ought we not to believe ever j man's doctrine unad- we may 
visedly, or condemn any man's preachino; ere it be heard and everyVoc-^ 

'' \ ,..,'',. .^ ,° . . trine that is 

seen what it is: but a christian mans part is to examine, taught and 

,,.,,., , ' preached, 

judge and try it, whether it be true or no. " Quench not the ^"3^ "Examine 
Spirit," saith Paul, " neither despise prophesyings ; but jouddtone 
prove all things, and keep that which is good." Destroy not wo?d°1ind 
the gifts of the Spirit of God ; but try whether they be of recdw^'i't or 
God, and good for the edifying of his congregation : and keep Am;?Vd. 
that which is good, and refuse that which is evil. And suffer 
every person that hath any gift of God to serve God therein, 
in his degree and estate, after a christian manner and a due 
order. Why shall we try the doctrines? Yerily, for there 
be many false prophets abroad already. We told you before 
that antichrist should come ; as our master Christ told us 
that he should come : but now I certify you that antichrist's 
kingdom is begun already ; and his disciples are gone out to 
preach. Try therefore all doctrine. Wherewith shall we try The trial of 
it ? With the doctrine of the apostles, and with the scripture, w. t.*^ ^ 
which is the touchstone : yea, and because ye love compen- 
diousness, ye shall have a short rule to try them withal. 

[2 So P. C. L., but D. omits then and it.} 


will not 
confess that 
Christ is 


Hereby know ye the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesseth that 
Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God. And every spirit that 
confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of 
God. And the same is that spirit of antichrist, of whom ye have 
heard that he should come; and even now he is in the world 

Whatsoever opinion any member of antichrist holdeth, 
the ground of all his doctrine is, to destroy this article of our 
fle^h^ '" ^^^ faith, that Christ is come in the flesh. For though the most 
■^"'■®'^' part of all heretics confess that Christ is come in the flesh, 
after their manner, yet they deny that he is come as the 
scripture testifieth, and the apostles preached him to be come. 
The whole study of the devil and all his members is to 
destroy the hope and trust that we should have in Christ's 
flesh, and in those things which he suffered for us in his flesh, 
and in the testament and promises of mercy which are made 
us in his flesh. For the scripture testifieth that Christ hath 
taken away the sin of the world in his flesh ; and that at the 
same hour that he yielded up his spirit into the hands of his 
Father, he had full purged, and made full satisfaction for all 
the sins of the world : so that all the sin of the world, both 
before his passion and after, must be put away through 
repentance toward the law, and faith and trust in his blood, 
without respect of any other satisfaction, sacrifice, or work. 
For if I once sin, the law rebuketh my conscience, and setteth 
variance between God and me : and I shall never be at 
peace with God again, until I have heard the voice of his 
mouth, how that my sin is forgiven me for Christ's blood 
Rom. V. sake. And as soon as I believe that, I am at peace with God, 
and love his law again, and of love work. 

And that Christ hath done this service in his flesh, deny 

all the members of antichrist. And hereby thou shalt know 

them. All doctrine that buildeth thee upon Christ to put thy 

The doctrine trust and confidcuce in his blood, is of God, and true doctrine: 

TTod. ^° and all doctrine that withdraweth thine hope and trust from 

W. T. . . ... 

The doctrine Christ is of the devil, and the doctrine of antichrist. Examine 

that IS of 

the devil. ^jjq Romisli bisliop by this rule, and thou shalt find that all 
he doth is to the destruction of this article. He wresteth all 
the scriptures, and setteth them clean against the wolP, to 

[1 So P. C. L. and Day. Woll was not an unusual way of spelling 
will; and seems equivalent here to mtent or pttrpose.] 


destroy this article. He ministereth the very sacraments of 
Christ unto the destruction of this article ; and so doth he all 
other ceremonies, and his absolution, penance, purgatory, 
dispensations, pardons 2, vows, with all disguisings. The ^/'^^^^"p 
Romish bishop preacheth that Christ is come to do away sins, christ°^°^ 
yet not in the flesh, but in water, salt, oil, candles, boughs^ ^■'^ 
ashes, friars' coats, and monks' cowls; and in the vows of 
them that forswear matrimony to keep whores, and swear 
beggary to possess all the treasure, riches, wealth and plea- 
sures of the world ; and have vowed obedience, to disobey 
with authority all the laws both of God and man. For 
in these hypocritish and false sacrifices teacheth he us to 
trust for the forgiveness of sins, and not in Christ's flesh. 

Ye ai-e of God, little children, and have overcome them. For greater 
is he that is in you than he that is in the world. 

He that dwelleth in you, and worketh in you through God is the 
faith, is e-reater than he which dwelleth and worketh in them by fauVthlu 

. . . . we have in 

through unbelief. And in his strength ye abide by your him. 
profession, and confess your Lord Jesus ; how that he is come 
in the flesh, and hath purged the sin of all that believe 
in his flesh. And through that faith ye overcome them in 
the very torments of death : so that neither their jugglings, 
neither their pleasures, neither their threaten! ngs, nor their 
torments, nor the very death wherewith they slay your bodies, 
can prevail against you. 

They be of the world, and therefore they speak of the world, and the 
world attendeth unto them. We be of God, and he that knoweth 
God heareth us ; and he that is not of God heareth us not. And 
hereby we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 

There be, and ever shall be, two generations in the world : Two gene- 
the one of the devil, which naturally hearken unto the false worT'" 
apostles of the devil, because they speak so agreeable unto 
their natural complexion ; and another of God, which hearken 
unto the true apostles of God, and consent unto their doctrine. 
And this is a sure rule to judge spirits withal ; that we judge 
them to have the spirit of truth which hearken unto the true 

[2 P. C. L. omits pardons.] 
[^ P. C. L. omits boughs.] 

W. T. 


doctrine of Christ's apostles, and them to have the spirit of 
error, which hearken unto worldly and devilish doctrine, 
abhorring the preaching of the apostles. And look whether 
The bishop the bishop of Rome's doctrine be worldly or no, if pride and 
woHdiy!'^ covetousness be worldly, yea, and lechery too. For what 
other is all his doctrine, than of benefices, promotions, digni- 
ties, bishopricks, cardinalships, vicarages, parsonages, prebends, 
change of bishopricks and resigning of benefices, of unions, 
pluralities, totquots, and that which cometh once into their 
hands may not out again ; yea, and of whores and con- 
cubines, and of captiving of consciences for covetousness? And 
all that hearken to that doctrine abhor the doctrine of the^ 
apostles, and persecute it, and them that preach it. 

Dearly beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God : and 
all that love are born of God, and know God. And he that loveth 
not, knoweth not God ; for God is love. 

John singeth his old song again ; and teacheth an in- 
fallible and sure token, which we may see and feel at our 
fingers' ends, and thereby be out of all doubt, that our faith 
is unfeigned, and that we know God, and be born of God, 
and that we hearken unto the doctrine of the apostles purely 
and godly, and not of any curiosity, to seek glory and honour 
therein unto ourselves, and to make a cloak thereof to cover 
our covetousness and filthy lusts : which token is, if we love 
one another. For the love of a man's neighbour unfeignedly 
springeth out of the unfeigned knowledge of God in Christ's 
w't!^' blood : by which knowledge we be born of God, and love God 
and our neighbours for his sake. And so he that loveth his 
neighbour unfeignedly is sure of himself, that he knoweth God, 
and is of God unfeignedly : and contrariwise, he that loveth 
not, knoweth not God ; for God in Christ's blood is such a 
love, that if a man saw it, it were impossible that he should 
not break out into the love of God again, and of his neighbour 
for his sake. 

Herein appeared the love of God unto us-ward, because God sent his 
only Son into the world, that we should live through him. Herein 
is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his 
Son a satisfaction for our sins. 

[1 In P. C. L. doctrine of the is wanting.] 

He that 
loveth Gc 
is born of 
Ant. ed. 

The fountain 


If a man had once felt within in his conscience the fierce 
wrath of God toward sinners, and the terrible and most cruel 
damnation that the law threateneth ; and then beheld with the God first 
eyes of a strong faith the mercy, favour and grace, the taking before"we 
away of the damnation of the law, and restoring again of life, him. Ant. ed. 
freely oiFered us in Christ's blood, he should perceive love, 
and so much the more, that it was shewed us when we were 
sinners and enemies to God ; and that without all deservings, Rom. v. 
without our endeavouring, enforcing and preparing ourselves, 
and without all good motions, qualities and properties of our 
freewill ; but when our hearts were as dead unto all good 
working as the members of him whose soul is departed. 
Which thing to prove, and to stop the blasphemous mouths of 
all our adversaries, I will, of innumerable texts, rehearse one, 
in the beginning of the second chapter to the Ephesians, Eph.ii. 
where Paul saith thus : " Ye were dead in trespass and sin, in 
which ye walked according to the course of the world, and 
after the governor that ruleth in the air, the spirit that worketh 
in the children of unbelief; among which we also had our 
conversation in time past, in the lusts of our flesh, and fulfilled 
the lusts of the flesh and of the mind," (so that the flesh and 
mind were agreed both to sin, and the mind consented as well 
as the flesh,) "and were by nature the children of wrath as 

well as other. But God, being rich in mercy, through the Herein 


great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead pat and 
in sin, hath quickened us with Christ; for by grace are ye mercy of 
saved ; and with him hath raised us up, and with him has made «od to- 

. . . . . ward us, 

US sit in heavenly things, through Jesus Christ, for to shew in ^erTyet^ 
time to come the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness to An".%d. 
us- ward in Jesus Christ. For by grace are ye saved through 
faith ; and that not of yourselves ; for it is the gift of God, 
and cometh not of works, lest any man should boast himself. 
But we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesu unto 
good works ; unto which God ordained us before, that we 
should walk in them." The text is plain : we were stone dead, 
and without life or power to do or consent to good. The whole 
nature of us was captive under the devil, and led at his will. 
And we were as wicked as the devil now is (except that he 
now sinneth against the Holy Ghost) ; and we consented unto 
sin with soul and body, and hated the law of God. But God, 
of his grace only, quickened us in Christ ; and raised us out of 


that death, and made us sit with Christ in heavenly things : 
that is, he set our hearts at rest, and made us sit fast in the 
hfe of Christ's doctrine, and unmoveable from the love of Christ. 
And finally we are, in this our second birth, God's workman- 
ship and creation in Christ ; so that, as he which is yet unmade 
hath no life nor power to work, no more had we, till we were 
made again in Christ. The preaching of mercy in Christ 
quickened our hearts through faith wrought by the Spirit of 
Christ, which God poured into our hearts, ere we wist. 

Dearly beloved, if God so loved us, then ought we to love one 

If we felt the love of God in Christ's blood, we could not 
but love again, not only God and Christ, but also all that are 
bought with Christ's blood. If we love God for the pleasures 

The use of that we reccive, then love we ourselves. But if we love him 

' ' to do him pleasure again ; that can we no otherwise do, than 

in loving our neighbours for his sake : them that are good, to 

• continue them in their goodness ; and them that are evil, to 

Lovemak- draw them to good. Love is the instrument wherewith faith 

sons of God. makoth us God's sons, and fashioneth us like the image of God, 
and certifieth us that we so are. And therefore commandeth 

Matt. V. Christ, "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray 
for them that persecute you, that ye may be the sons of your 
heavenly Father ; which maketh his sun rise over good and 
bad, and sendeth liis rain upon just and unjust:" yea, which 
made the sun of his mercy shine upon us, and sent the rain of 
the blood of his dear and only child upon our souls to quicken 
us, and to make us see love, to love again. 

No man hath at any time seen God. If we love one another, God 
dwelleth in us, and his love is perfect in us. 

No man hath Tliougli we canuot soc God, vct if we love one another, 

seen God. ° . . "^ . . 

w. T. yfQ \)Q sure that he abideth in us, and that his love is perfect 

in us ; that is, that we love him unfeignedly. For to love God 
truly, and to give him thanks, is only to love our neighbour 
for his sake : for upon his person thou canst bestow no 
benefit. And forasmuch as we never saw God, let us make no 
image of him, nor do him any image-service after our own 
The^scripture imagination; but let us go to the scripture, that hath seen him, 
God. Ant. ed. ^nd thcrc wete what fashion he is of, and what service he will 


be served with. Blind reason saith, God is a carved post, and 
will be served with a candle : but scripture saith, " God is 
love," and will be served with love. If thou love thy neighbour, 
then art thou the image of God thyself ; and he dwelleth in 
the living temple of thine heart. And thy loving of thy 
neighbour for his sake is his service and worship in the spirit, 
and a candle that burneth before him in thine heart, and casteth 
out the light of good works before the world, and draweth all 
to God, and maketh his enemies leave their evil, and come and 
worship him also. 

Hereby we know that we abide in him, and he in us. For he hath 
given us of his Spirit. 

He that hath not Christ's Spirit, the same is none of his, Bythis badge 
If we have the Spirit of God, then are we sure. But how are known to 
shall we know whether we have the Spirit ? Ask John, and spiritofGod. 
he will say, ' If we love one another.' 

And we have seen and do testify, that the Father hath sent his Son, the 
Saviour of the world. Whosoever confesseth that Jesus is the Son 
of God, in him dwelleth God, and he in God. And we have known 
and believed the love that God hath to us. 

First, the apostles taught no fables, but that they saw 
and received of God by the witness of his Spirit. Secondarily, 
John ascendeth up step higher, from love to faith ; and saith, 
"He that beheveth that Jesus is God's Son, hath God in him." He that be- 
And I doubt not but the bishop of Rome and his defenders Jesus is God-s 
will answer John, and say, 'Then the devil hath God in him, God in him. 

' ^ ' ' Ant. ed. 

and is also in God : ' for other faith, than such as the devil 
hath, felt they never any. But John preventeth them, say- 
ing \ "We have known and believed the love that God hath 
to us : " that is, Ave believe not only with story faith, as men 
believe old chronicles, but we believe the love and mercy that 
God shewed us, and put our trust and confidence therein (and 
so taketh scripture belief) ; we believe that Jesus is the Son of 
God, became man and was slain ^ for our sins, which is a token 
of great love. And that love believe we, and trust thereto. 
Where Paul saith. No man can call Jesus Lord except the i cor. xii. 
Holy Ghost have taught him, "but through the Holy Ghost;" 

{} So P. C. L., but D. omits saving.] 

P So P. C. L., but in D. made man and slain.] 


he meancth, not with the mouth only, but in the heart, with 
unfeigned faith, putting his hope and trust in the lordship 
which he hath over sin, damnation, hell, and death. For so 
could no man call Jesus lord, except the Holy Ghost had 
Matt. xvi. taught him; as Christ saith, (Matt, xvi.) "Flesh and blood 
shewed thee not that." 

But yet how shall I see my faith ? I must come down to 
love again, and thence to the works of love, ere I can see my 
faith. Not always, but sometimes, thou shalt feel thy faith 
without the outward deed ; as in great adversity and persecu- 
tion, when the devil assaulteth thee with desperation, and 
layeth thy sins before thee, and would bear thee in hand that 
God had cast thee away, and left thee succourless, for thy sins' 
Faith taketh sako ! thcu cometli faith forth with her shield, and turneth 
christ'-s back again the darts of the devil, and answereth : 'Nay; for 
diservtng. Jesus is the Son of God, yea, and my very God and my very 
lord, and hath taken away my sins and all damnation. And 
this trouble and adversity which is come upon me, by setting 
on of thee and of thy Hmbs^ is only to make me feel the 
mercy of my Father, and his power and help within in my 
soul, and to slay the rest of the poison which remaineth in the 

God is love; and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God in him. 

This have we heard above, and it is easy to be under- 

Herefore^ is love perfect with us, that we should have confidence in 
the day of judgment, [that as he is, even so are we in this world.] 

Howsoever this text doth^ sound, this methinketh should 

be the meaning : that we should provoke each other to love, 

and ever have those examples of edifying before our eyes 

thJfaUh^ui'' ^^^^^ should most move us to love. For perfect love serveth 

man'^tobe*" to make a man bold, because it is the keeping of the com- 

Anted. mandments. And therefore he that is perfect in love, when 

he seeth himself, yet in this world, to be unto his neighbour 

as God is unto him, and to be like his heavenly Father in 

[1 So P. C. L. : Day has, setting of thee and one of thy limbs.] 

[2 So both P. C. L., and D.; but in Tyndale's translation of 1526 

the word is herein. The clause in brackets is in that translation, but 

omitted in D.] 

[3 D. omits doth.] 


all example of kindness, is bold in the presence of God ; yea, 
though he come to judge sinners : when, on the other side, 
thej that continue ever in their wickedness, and grow not in 
love, fall often ; and therefore their conscience ever accuseth 
them, and putteth them in fear, by the reason of the fresh 
memory of the offence, that they cannot at once be bold, 
though they have never so great promises of mercy. 

There is no fear in love ; but perfect love casteth out fear : for fear 
hath painfulness. He therefore that feareth, is not perfect in love. 

Love is not painful ; but maketh all things easy and Love, 
pleasant : fear of punishment, for the trespass newly com- 
mitted, is painful : therefore, where love is perfect, there is 
no such fear. Love is the fulfilling of all commandments: 
and therefore, where love is perfect, there is no sin ; and 
where the conscience doth not accuse of sin, there is faith 
bold to go in to God and to stand before him and look him 
in the face, and to conjure him by all his mercies, and to 
ask the petitions of his desire. Lack of love is the breaking 
of the commandments, and cause of sin ; and where the con- 
science accuseth of sin, their faith is abashed, dismayed, 
ashamed and afraid to go in, for fear of rebuke. Love 
therefore serveth to make a man bold in the day of judgment, 
and in all temptations. 

John speaketh not generally of all manner fear, but of Fear, 
that only which the conscience of sin putteth a man in. For 
divers fears there be that accompany love, and grow as she 
doth. The more a woman loveth her child, the more she 
careth for it ; and feareth, lest aught should chance unto it 
amiss. Even so the more we love our brethren, the moreifweiove 
we care for them, and fear lest any temptation should trouble then are we ' 

careful for 

them : as Paul saith, (2 Cor. xi.) " Who is sick, and I am them. 

' ^ ' _ ' Ant. ed. 

not sick ? Who is offended or hurt, and mine heart burneth ^ ^°^- '''• 
not?" How cared he for Timothy, for Titus, and for all 
that were weak, and for the Corintliians, Galatians, and for 
all congregations ! And how diligently wrote he to them in 
his absence! And the more we love God, the more diligent The more we 
and circumspect are we, that we offend him not. And tell more diligent 
me, I pray thee, whosoever hast had experience, what a pain ^is wiji. 
and grief, yea, and what a fretting corosy* is it, unto the 
[•* Corrosive. In P. C. L., corose.l 




Where per- 
fect love is, 
there is no 
Ant. ed. 

Rom. ix. 

heart of a true lover of God, to hear the poison generation of 
vipers, the pestilent sect of hypocritish Pharisees, wittingly 
and willingly to blaspheme and rail on the open and manifest 
truth of the Holy Ghost ! 

If ye will see how bold love is, go to Moses (Exod. the 
thirty-second chapter, and Numb, the fourteenth chapter) ; 
and there behold how he conjureth God, and among all 
saith : " Forgive this people ; or put me out of the book that 
thou hast written." As who should say, * They be thy 
people, and thou commandest me to love them ; and for thy 
sake I love them, and teach them, and care for them, as a 
mother that had borne them, and love them no less than 
myself. Wherefore, if thou love me, as thou promisest me, 
then save them with me ; or if not, then cast me away with 
them, and let me have such part as they take.' And Paul 
said as much, Rom. ix. Look upon worldly love, and see 
what pageants she playeth now and then, and how drunken a 
thing it is : and be sure, where the love of God is perfect, 
she' will not only go between bodily death and her lover, but 
also between him and hell. If a man would take of this, 
that a man might be so perfect in this life that he might not 
be perfecter, it would not follow. For though the spirit at a 
time get the upper hand of the flesh, and winneth herself to 
God, that she cannot tell whether she be in the body or no ; 
yet the flesh will pull her down again, and not let her 
continue, and now and then pluck off some of her feathers, 
for mounting so high again. For Moses fell through unbelief 
well enough after that ferventness. 

Faith is the 
of love. 
W. T. 

We love liim, because he loved us first. 

We deserve not the love of God first ; but he deserveth 
our love, and loveth us first, to win us, and to make us his 
friends of his enemies ; and as soon as we believe his love 
we love again. And so faith is mother of all love : and as 
great as my faith is, so great is love, though faith cannot be 
perfectly seen, but through the works of love and in the fire 
of temptation. 

If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar. For 
how can he, that loveth not his brother whom he seeth, love God 
whom he seeth not ? And this commandment have we of him, that 
he which loveth God, love his brother also. 


To love a man's neig-hbour in God is a sure rule to know a sure mie 

o _ _ Ant. ed. 

that we love God : and not to love him is a sure token that 
we love not God ; and to hate our neighbour is to hate God. 
For to love God is to do his commandments ; as Christ saith, John 
" Ye are my lovers, if ye do those things which I have com- God,wera 

w «' O do his coir 

If we lov« 

do his coin- 

to love out 

And hkewise to hate the commandment is to hate God that Ant.''ed."' 
commanded it : and the commandment is to love our neigh- 
bours : he then that hateth his brother, whom God biddeth 
him love, hateth God. 


All that believe that Jesus Is Christ are bom of God. And all that 
love him which begat, love him that is begotten of him. In this 
we know that we love the sons of God, when we love God and ieep 
his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his 

This is a sure conclusion, that we be born of God through Faith 
faith. And that faith maketh us God's sons, in that weood-ssons. 

W. T. 

believe that Jesus is Christ : as the first chapter of John also ^oim i. 
testifieth, " He gave them power to be the sons of God, in 
that they believed in his name." 

What it is to believe that Jesus is Christ, may be under- what it is to 

' «/ believe that 

stood by that which is above rehearsed. It is a far other christ!%v. t. 

thing than as the devil believed it, against his will and to his 

great pain ; or as they beheve it, which, to fulfil their sin, 

envy the glory of Christ, and persecute his gospel, forbidding 

to preach it or to read in it. To believe that Jesus is Christ, 

is to believe in Christ : that is, to believe earnestly, and to 

put all thy trust therein, and to lay the price of thy soul 

thereupon ; that the son of Mary, whom the angel commanded 

to be called Jesus, because he should save his people from 

their sins, is that Christ, that Messias, and that anointed, Jesus the true 

which God promised the fathers should come and bless all thfsa^iour 

J . , • 1 1 • I (. 1 • of the world 

nations, and anoint them with the oil of his Spirit and with ^om their 

■I sins. 

mercy and grace, and to dehver them from death of their Ant.ed. 
souls, which is the consenting to sin, and to make them 




All that love 
God love all 
that believe 
in him. 
Ant. ed. 

He that 
loveth God 
loveth also 
the sons of 
Ant. ed. 

alive with consenting unto tlie law of God, and in certifying 
them that they be the sons of God ; and to put thy whole 
trust in all that he suffered in his flesh for thy sake, and in 
all promises of mercy that are in him ; and that thou be full 
persuaded that there is none other name under heaven, given 
unto men to be saved from sin by, or to purchase forgiveness 
of the least sin that ever was committed or ever shall be in 
this worlds 

Another conclusion is this. Whosoever loveth God loveth 
all that believe in God. For all that love him that begettetb, 
love them that are begotten of him : and all that believe in 
God are begotten of God through that belief, and made his 
sons : then all that love God love all that believe in God. 

Another conclusion is this, When we love God and his 
law, then we love the sons of God. Which is this-wise 
proved : The love of God is to keep the law of God : by the 
text, before and after, the law of God is to love our neigh- 
bours; and therefore if we love God, in keeping his laws, we 
mufk needs love the sons of God. 

But John should seem to be a very neghgent disputer to 
many men, in that he here certifieth us of the love of our 
neighbours by the love of God, when above he certifieth us 
that we love God because we love our neighbours. He 
seemeth to do as I heard once a great clerk in Oxford stand 
half an hour in a pulpit, to prove that Christ was a true pro- 
phet by the testimony of John Baptist ; and another half hour 
to prove John the Baptist a true prophet by the authority of 
Christ : as we say, Claw me, claw thee ; and as every thief 
might hghtly prove himself a true man, in bearing record to 
another as false as he, and taking record of the same again. 
Which kind of disputing schoolmen call Petitio prmcipii, 
the proving of two certain things, each by the other ; and is no 
proving at all : as our holy father proveth the authority of 
scripture by his decrees, (for the scripture is not authentic, 
but as his decrees admit it;) and to make his decrees shine 
and appear glorious, and to obtain authority, he allegeth the 
scripture, after his juggling manner, to make fools stark mad. 

But it is not so here : for both the demonstrations are 
certain, both the proof of the love of God and his law by 
the love of my neighbour, and the proof of the love of my 

[1 So P. C. L., in D. the paragraph ends with committed.] 


neighbour by the love of God and his law. For when two 
things are so joined together that they cannot be separated, 
then the presence of the one uttereth the presence of the 
other, whethersoever thou first seest : as if I see fire, I am 
sure that something doth burn ; and if I smell burning, I 
am certified of fire. Even so the love of God is the cause The love of 

God is caus? 

why I love my neighbour ; and my love toward my neigh- g^JJ^/s^oJI*^" 
hour is the effect of the love of God. And these two loves '^^- '^• 
are ever inseparable ; so that whethersoever I feel first, the 
same certifieth me of the other. 

John calleth the love of a man's neighbour the deeds of 
love, after the Hebrew speech ; as to help at need, though he 
were even an enemy to me ; to give the best counsel I can ; 
to visit and relieve him if he be sick and needy, yea, if need 
were, to bestow even my fife for him 2. For the deed de- 
clareth what the man is within : neither can my love to 
God, and faith, be seen to the world, save through the works : 
and by the works doth Christ command us to judge. So 
that, if a man have evil works, and continueth therein, he 
loveth not God, nor knoweth God, no, though he call himself works^set 
master doctor or God's vicar: neither understandeth he God's declare faith. 

Ant. ed. 

word, for all his high divinity ; but is in all his preach- 
ing an hypocrite, a false prophet, and a har, though his 
preaching please the world never so well. Nevertheless, a 
man is certified that he loveth God, ere he come at the work, 
by the testimony of the Spirit, which is given him in earnest. 
"The Spirit," saith Paul, "testifieth unto our spirit, that we be Kom. viu. 
the sons of God : " and then it testifieth that we believe in 
God ; for through faith are we sons. And then it certifieth 
me that I love God ; for faith and love are inseparable. 
The Spirit through faith certifieth my conscience that my 
sins are forgiven, and I received under grace, and made the 
very son of God, and beloved of God : and then naturally 
mine heart breaketh out into the love of God again, and I 
seek how to utter my love, and to do God some pleasure ; 
and because I can neither do service nor pleasure unto his 
own person, my neighbour is set before me, to do God 
service and pleasure in him, and to be to him as Christ is to ^o°my^ei'gh- 
me, because he is my brother, bought with Christ's blood as God good''" 
I am. And I consent unto that law, and love it, ere I come at Ant'ed. 
[2 So P. C. L., but in D. tliis sentence concludes with help at need.'] 


the deed, and long after the deed. And then, when I love 
my neighbour in the deed, according to this law, I am sure 
that I love him truly. Or else, if I examined not my love by 
this law, I might be deceived. For some love their neigh- 
bours for pleasure, profit, glory, and for their doing service 
only, as our spiritually love us, and of that blessed love do 
their busy cure^ to keep us in darkness: which love is a sign 
that a man hateth God, and his neighbour thereto, and loveth 
himself only. But God's law is, that I should abstain from 
mine own pleasure and profit, and become my neighbour's 
servant, and bestow life and goods upon him, after the 
ensample of Christ. Wherefore if I love my neighbour out of 
the love of Christ, and after the example of his law, I am 
sure that 1 love him truly. 

And his commandments are not grievous. For all that is born of God 
overcometh the world : and this is the victory that overcometh the 
world, even our faith. 

To love is not painful : the commandments are but love, 
therefore they be not grievous ; because love maketh the 
A goodly commandments easy. The service that a mother doth unto 
love.' w!t. her child is not grievous, because she loveth it; but if she 
should do the tenth part unto one that she loved not, her 
heart would brast^ for impatience. Unto a man that feeleth 
not the love of Christ it is as impossible to keep the com- 
mandments, as for a camel to enter through the eye of a 
needle. But impossible is possible, and easy too, where the 
All that are lovo of Chrlst Is bolieved. For it followeth : "All that are 
overcome" bom of God ovorcome the world;" that is to wit, the devil, 
Antreci. ■ which is the ruler of the world, and his disciples, which have 
their lust in his governance, and consent to sin both in body 
and soul, and give themselves to follow their lusts without 
resistance, and their own flesh, which also consenteth to sin, 
do they overcome, with all that moveth to sin. By what 
victory ? Verily, through faith. For if our souls be truly 
underset^ with sure hope and trust, and continual meditations 
of Christ's love, shewed already, and of succour, help and 
assistance that is promised in his name, and with the continual 

[1 Do their office busily.] 

[2 Burst.] [^ Underpropped.] 


memory of their examples which in times past have fought 
through faith and overcome ; then were it impossible for the 
world, with all his chivalry, to overthrow us with any assault, 
or with any ordnance that he could shoot against us. For 
if that faith and meditation were ever present in us, then 
love through that faith should easily overcome whatsoever 
peril thou couldest imagine. Read in the bible, and see what The con- 

i *-'... quests of 

conquests faith hath made, both in doing and also suffering, f^^-^^^ 
The eleventh chapter unto the Hebrews ministereth unto 
thee examples abundantly. How mighty was David, when 
he came to fight ; and how overcame he through faith ! And 
how mightier was he when he came to suffering, as in the 
persecution of the king Saul ! Insomuch that when he had 
his most mortal enemy, king Saul, (that twelve years per- 
secuted him against all right,) in his hands ^ to have done 
what he would with him, through faith he touched him not, 
nor suffered any man else to do, though he was yet all his 
life a man of war, and accustomed to murder and shedding 
of blood : for he believed that God should avenge him on 
his unrighteous king, upon whom it was not lawful to avenge 

Who is it that overcometh the world, but he that helieveth that Jesus 
is the Son of God? 

If to believe that Jesus is God's Son be to overcome the 
world, then our prelates understand not what belief is ; which 
aflSrm that the best belief and the worst man in the world 
may stand together. 

This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Clii'ist ; not by water 
only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that testifieth, 
because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness 
in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost ; and these 
three are one. And there are three which bear record in earth, the 
Spirit, water, and blood ; and these three are one. 

Christ came with three witnesses, water, blood, and Spirit, chrut had 

^ three wit- 

He ordained the sacrament of baptism, to be his witness unto ^^^f'^^j 
us. And he ordained the sacrament of his blood, to be his 
witness unto us. And he poureth his Spirit into the hearts of 
his, to testify and to make them feel that the testimony of 
those two sacraments are true. And the testimony of these 

[* So D., but P. C. L. has that when he had gotten him in, &c.] 

[tyndale, II. J 


three is, as it after followeth, that we heave everlasting life 

in the Son of God. And these three are one full witness ; 

sufficient at the most that the law requireth, which saith two 

uhiVonhr' ^^ three, at the most, is one full sufficient witness. But, alas ! 

fway'from *' we are not taught to take the sacraments for witnesses, but 

Anted. for image-service, and to offer ^ the work of them to God 

with such a mind as the old heathen offered sacrifices of 

beasts unto their gods : so tliat whatsoever testifieth unto 

us that we have everlasting life in Christ, that mouth have 

they stopped with a leavened maunchet^ of their pharisaical 


If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater. For 
this is the witness that God hath borne of his Son. 

If the witness of men, so^ they be three, is to be re- 
ceived ; much more is the witness of God to be received. 
Now the witness that these three, water, blood, and Spirit, 
bear, is the witness of God, and therefore the more to be 

He that believeth in the Son of God, hath witness in himself. And he 
that believeth not God, maketh him a liar, because he doth not 
believe the witness that God hath testified of his Son. And this is 
the witness, that God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in 
his Son. He that hath the Son hath life : and he that hath not 
the Son of God hath not life. 

have the true 

Godintheir ^earts, and they glorify God, witnessing that he is true. 

iTiu.'ed. They have the kingdom of God within them ; and the temple 
of God within them ; and God in that temple ; and have the 
Son of God, and life through him. And in that temple they 
seek God, and offer for their sins the sacrifice of Christ's 
blood, and the fat of his mercies in the fire of their prayers ; 
and in the confidence of that sacrifice go in boldly to God 
their father. 

fuVwirrsWp* ^^^ ^^^® unbelievers blaspheme God, and make him false, 

i?^age"ser- describing him after the complexion of their lying nature. 

[1 So P. C. L., Day has, to fore.] 

[2 Maunchet or manchet: a small loaf of fine bread. Tyndale 
presently gives the same name to the thin roll or wafer used in 
the mass.] 

[3 Thus D., but P. C. L. has ivhen instead of so.] 


And because they be so full stuffed with hes that they can i'Ztptpelt 
receive nothing else, they look for the kingdom of God in ^"'" ^^ 
outward things, and seek God in a temple of stone, where 
they offer their image-service and the fat of their holy deeds ; 
in confidence whereof they go in to God, and trust to have 
everlasting life. And though the text testifieth that this life 
is only in the Son, yet they will come at no son, nor sun- 
shining *; but, as unclean birds, hate the light. 

These things have I written unto you that believe in the name of the 
Son of God, that ye may know that ye have everlasting life, and 
that ye may believe in the Son of God. 

They that have the faith of Christ's apostles know that l^^.J*^^^^^ 
they have eternal hfe. For the Spirit testifieth unto their apostres'nti- 
spirits that they are the sons of God (Rom. viii.), and re- {fnow^an'd^ 
ceived under grace. Our doctors say they cannot know uily^rau^on 
whether they be in the state of grace ; therefore they have Ant. ed. 
not the faith of the apostles. And that they know it not, is 
the cause why they rail on it. 

This is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask aught ac- 
cording to his will, he heareth us. And if we know that he heareth 
us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we 
ask of him. 

Christ saith (Matt, vii.), "Ask and it shall be given Jo^^^^^yn 
you ; " and John (in chapter xvi.), " "Whatsoever ye ask in If^^-^'^y- '^• 
my name, he shall give it you." To ask in the name of Jesus •^°''" "'"'• 
Christ, and according to his will, be both one; and are nothing 
else but to ask the things contained in the promises and tes- 
tament of God to US-ward, that God will be our father, and 
care for us both in body and in soul ; and, if we sin of frailty, 
and repent, forgive us ; and minister us all things necessary 
unto this life, and keep us that we be not overcome of evil, &c. 
Now if they which believe in Christ are bold with God that 
he heareth them, and sure that he granteth their petitions, it 
followeth that they which are not bold that he heareth them, 
nor sure that he granteth their petitions, do not believe in 
Christ. They that go to dead saints, with which they never 
spake nor wot where they be, be not bold that God will hear 

[4 Thus P. C. L., but D. omits son, nor. lu Tyndale's time it was 
usual to write sonne alike for son, and for sun : and this is continued in 
Day's edition.] 



them, nor sure that he will grant them^ then- petitions; there- 
faith fu'''' fore thev beUevc not in Christ. That they be neither bold 

Christ wan- « . i i j l M 1 

llo'twhlthe"' nor sure, appeareth first by their deeds, and secondarily by 
their own confession; for they say, what should God hear 
them or grant them aught, seeing they be unworthy? yea, 
and they confirm it with a similitude of worldly wisdom, that 
they should be put back for their malapertness, and fare the 
worse ; as if a rude fellow should break up into the king's 
privy chamber, and press unto his own person without knock- 
ing, or speaking to any other officer : so that they believe it 
an augmenting of sin to go to God themselves in the con- 
fidence of Christ's blood, as he bade them. 

If a man see his brother sin a sin not unto death, let him ask ; and he 
shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a 
sin unto death; and for it I say not that thou shouldest pray. 
All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not to death. 

Whatsoever sin we see in the world, let us pray, and not 
The sin to dospair ; for God is the God of mercy. But for the sin to 

the death. 1 ' '' , . 

death, which is resisting grace, and fighting against mercy, 
and open blaspheming of the Holy Ghost, affirming that 
Christ's miracles are done in Beelzebub, and his doctrine to 
be of the devil, I think that no christian man, if he perceive 
it, can otherwise pray than as Paul prayed for Alexander the 
Tim.iv. coppersmith, (the 2 Tim. the last,) " that God would reward 
him according unto his works." They that go back again 
after they know the truth, and give themselves willingly to 
sin for to follow it, and persecute the doctrine of truth by 
profession to maintain falsehood for their glory and vantage, 
Heb. vi.x. are remediless: as ye may see Ileb. vi. and x. Balaam sinned 
so ; the false prophets in the old Testament sinned so ; the 
Pharisees sinned so ; Alexander sinned so ; and now many sin 
so, following their pride and covetousness. 

We know that all that are born of God, sin not; but he that is born of 
God kecpeth himself; and the wicked toucheth him not. 

All that are As tliou roadost in the third chapter, they that are born 

of God cannot sin ; for the seed of God keepeth them. They 
cannot cast off the yoke of Christ, and consent to continue in 
sin, nor defy his doctrine, nor persecute it, for to quench it, 
or to maintain any thing contrary unto it. But in whatsoever 

[1 P. C. L. has tliem, omitted by D.] 





captivity they be in the flesh, their hearts yield not ; but 
imagine to break loose, and to escape, and fly away, unto the 
party and standard of their Lord Christ, And as men of war 
they ever keep watch and prepare themselves unto war, and 
put on the armour of God, the which is God's word, the shield The armour 
of faith, the helmet of hope, and harness themselves with the tsanman. 
meditation of those things which Christ sufi'ered for us, and 
with the ensamples of all the saints that followed him, and 
think earnestly that it is their part to live as purely as 
the best, and come after as fast as they can. And yet, in all 
their works, they knowledge themselves sinners unfeignedly, 
as long as one jot of the perfectness, that was in the deeds of 
Christ, is lacking in theirs : so that the devil cannot touch 
the hearts of them, neither with pride, nor vain glory of pure 
living, neither to make them consenting unto the flesh in gross 
sins, if at a time they be taken tardy, and catch a fall. 
Whatsoever chance them, the devil can catch no hold of them, 
to keep them still in captivity ; but they will break loose again, 
and repent and do penance, to chastise their flesh, that they 
come no more under the devil's claws. 

We know tliat we be of God, and that the •whole world is set on 

They that believe, that is to say, put their trust in Christ, 
see both their own glorious state in God, and also the wretched 
estate of the world in their wickedness. But the world, as The world 
they know not God, nor the glory of the sons of God, even so *{;^ ^^^^^^ 
they see not their own miserable estate in wickedness, and ^'"^•■^"'•^'' 
damnation under the law of God; but the worse they are, the 
bolder they be, and the surer of themselves, the further from 
repentance, and the more standing in their own conceits, for 
the darkness that is in them. And therefore, say our doctors, 
a man cannot know whether he be in the state of grace or no; 
nor needeth to care therefore. And they be therefore the 
blind leaders of the blind. 

We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us under- 
standing to know him that is true : and we be in the truth through 
Jesus Christ. He is very God, and eternal life. 

Christ is all, and the fountain of all ; and of his fulness Purist oniy 

' 'is the foun- 

receive we all. And as he poureth the gifts of his grace upon fXes^lif ai 
them that believe in him, so he giveth them understanding to Tm.^!^ 


know the very God, and that they be in the very God, and 

that they have obtained that through his purchasing ; and 

leaveth not his sheep in darkness. And the same Jesus 

Christ is very God and eternal Hfe : God and eternal life was 

he from the beginning, and became man for the great love he 

s"emh any ^ad to US, for to bring us unto his eternal life. And he that 

t"oeternai' hath auy Other way thither, whether his own works, or other 

thanby"' mou's, Or works of ceremonies, or sacraments, or merits of 

never come saiuts, or of ausrht save Jesus Christ only, shall never come 

tliere. ' o «/ ' 

Ant.ed. thither. The world seeth the bishop of Rome, and seeth that 
they which be in him be lords in this world : and therefore 
they care to be in the bishop of Rome ; but whether they be 
in God or not, they say, it is not necessary to know. 

Little children, beware of images. 

Idolatry. Scrve uouo image in your hearts. Idolatry is Greek, and 

i^°',j.'"- the English is image-service : and an idolater is also Greek, 

and the English an image-servant. Be not idolaters nor 

commit idolatry ; that is, be none image-servants, nor do any 

image-service, but beware of serving all manner images. And 

think it not enough to have put all the images of false gods 

out of the way, if ye now set up the image of very God and 

of his true saints in their rooms, to do the same service unto 

woi?tf ma them which ye did unto the other. For ye may do as strong 

to thr^J^age'^ image-service unto the image of God and of his saints, as unto 

aswatby the images of false Gods : yea, thou may est commit as great 

commuted idolatry to God, and yet before none outward image, but before 

AM. ed? *■ the image which thou hast feigned of God in thine heart, as 

thou mayest before an outward image of the devil. The Jews 

in the temple of God, where was none image of God, did as 

great image-service to God, as the heathen unto their false 

gods : yea, the Jews, in doing to God the things which God 

commanded them, did commit worse idolatry, and sinned more 

grievously against God, than the heathen did in offering unto 

their false gods ; which thing to be true the prophets testify. 

For when the Jews did their ceremonies and sacrifices (the 

meaning and signification lost, and the cause forgotten, which 

God ordained them for) to flatter and please God with the 

gloriousness of the deed in itself, and to purchase aught of 

him for the costliness or properness of the present; what other 

made they of God in their imagination, than a child, whom, if 

V. 20, 21.] FIRST EPISTLE OF ST JOHN. 215 

he cry or be displeased, men still with a puppet, or if we will 
have him to do aught, make him an horse of a stick, or such 

If thou bring a bowl of blood and set it before God to Gross wor- 

& ^ shipping of 

flatter him, to stroke him, and to curry and claw him, as he ^°'^- ^"'- ^^^ 
were an horse, and imaginest that he hath pleasure and de- 
lectation therein, what better makest thou of God than a 
butcher's dog ? If thou bring the fat of thy beasts to God, 
for the same imagination, what makest thou of God, but one 
that had need of grease to grease shoes or smear boots ? If 
thou burnest blood and fat together to please God, what other 
thing dost thou make of God, than one that had lust to smell 
to burnt flotess'? 

God commanded a courtesy of all first ripe fruits to be 9^^'',^'"^"'*'- 
offered: not to be an image-service, but a witness and testimony 
that he had made them grow, that the people should not 
forget God, but think on his benefits, and love him, and of 
love keep his commandments. And Hkewise, if any had sinned 
against God's law, God commanded that they should repent, 
and then bring a beast and flay it, and ofl"er the blood and 
the fat of the inwards ; not to make satisfaction, but to testify 
only that God was appeased 2, and had of his mercy at the 
repentance of the heart forgiven the sin. The sacrifices of sacrifices, 
blood were ordained partly to be a secret prophesying of 
Christ's blood-shedding, and partly to be a testimony and 
certifying of our hearts, that the sin was forgiven, and peace 
made between us and God ; and not to be a satisfaction : for 
that were image-service, and to make an image of God. 

We read in the histories, that when a love-day^, or a 
truce, was made between man and man, the covenants were 
rehearsed: and upon that they slew beasts, in a memorial and 
remembrance of the appointment only. And so were the 
sacrifices signs and memorials only, that God was at one with 
us. For the Jew could believe no words, though an angel had The Jews 

, 1 , 5 11 could believe 

spoken, without a token ; as we hold up our fingers, and clap nothing wuh- 

i ' ' r O ' 1 out tokens. 

hands. And likewise whatsoever they were bid to do, they A"*- ^^• 
must have had a token of remembrance, though it had been 
but a ring of a rush, as it is to be seen in the bible. 

[1 Flotess : scum.] 

[2 So P. C. L., but D. has pleased.] 

[3 See Vol. I. p. 440.] 




and cere- 
monies were 
only for re- 
Ant. ed. 

We ought 
to be frank, 
and to dis- 
tribute to 
our poor 
such as God 
hath sent us. 
Ant. ed. 

Even so our images, relics, ceremonies and sacraments, 
were our memorials and signs of remembrance only ; and 
he that giveth in his heart more to them than that, is an 
image-servant. But when God is a Spirit, and worshipped 
in the spirit, we for lack of faith, being spiritless, and having 
no power to desire of God any spiritual thing, serve God in 
the body with imagined service, for such wordly things as our 
profession is to defy. Who kisseth a relic, or beholdeth an 
image, for love of the saints' living, to follow their example? 
Nay, we will fast the saints'" evens, and go barefoot unto their 
images, and take pain to obtain greater pleasure in the world, 
and to purchase worldly things ; as to maintain the body in 
lusts, that the soul cannot once wish for power to live as the 
saints lived, or to long for the hfe to come. If we went in 
pilgrimage to keep the remembrance of the saints' living in 
mind, for our example, and fasted and went barefoot to tame 
the flesh, that it should not lust after such worldly thing.s 
which we now desire of the saints ; then did our fasting and 
pilgrimage-going serve us, yea, and the saint were yet our 
servant to edify us in Christ with the remembrance of his life 
left behind, to preach, and to provoke us to follow his example. 
For our bodily service can be no service unto the saint, which 
is a spirit, except we imagine him to be an image. 

St White must have a cheese once in a year, and that 
of the greatest sort ; which yet eateth no cheese : it shall be 
given to the poor in her* name, say they. First, that to be 
false, we see with our eyes. Secondarily, Christ commandeth 
to care for the poor, and give them all that we may spare, in 
his name; saying, that what is given them, is given him, and 
what is denied them is denied him. If the law of Christ be 
written in thine heart, why distributest thou not unto thy 
brethren with thine own hands, in the name of thy Saviour 

[1 It appears from the Britannia Sancta, a work published by 
Meighan, a Romish bookseller, Lond. 1745, that our comatrymcn were 
wont to venerate a St Witta, there said to have been 'a fellow-labourer 
of Boniface' (or Winfrid the Saxon) 'in Germany, and consecrated by 
him bishop of Buraburg near Fritzlar. Some authors call him Albuin, 
by changing his name, which signifies White, into a Latin name.' Brit. 
Sane. par. ii. p. 221. The apparently feminine termination of this 
saint's Saxon name was probably the cause of his being supposed to be 
a female by persons Avho did not know his history. In Bishop Hooper's 
works, Park. Soc. ed. p. 320, White is spoken of as a male saint.] 


Jesus Christ, 'which died both for them and thee, as thou hast 
vowed and promised to him in thy baptism ? 

Moreover they say ^ ' It is given unto St White's chap- superstitious 
lain.' St White's chaplain hath a stipend already, sufficient "Siatiy. 
for a christian man, and ought to receive no more, but there- 
with to be content, and to be an example of despising covet- 
ousness. Moreover, that priest that would follow the living 
of Jesus Christ, as St White did, and teach his parishens to 
do so, were a right chaplain of Christ. And they have a 
promise to be fed and clothed, as well as ever was their 
master, in the name of Christ. And so be they, and ever 
were ; so that they need not to beg in the name of St 

What shall St White do for thee again for that great 
cheese ? For I wot well it is not given for nought. Shall she 
give abundance of milk, to make butter and cheese ? All 
we that believe in Christ are the sons of God, and God hath 
promised to care for us, forasmuch ^ as we care for the keeping 
of his commandments ; and hath promised that we shall 
receive whatsoever we ask, to his honour and our need, of his 
hand. If we then be the natural sons of God, why run 
we from our father a begging to St White? St White 
sendeth no rain upon the earth, nor maketh the sun shine 
thereon, nor maketh the grass grow. Neither is there any 
God's word that he will now do so much for us at her request. 
But God hath promised, if we will keep his laws, to do so in aii our 
much for us at our own request, for the blood of his Son Jesus, must'c^fi 
What other thing: then is thy serving of St White, than in i^e name 

" . . ofJesus 

lack of faith and trust to God-ward in Christ's name : and a p'"''s.V, j"*! 

' he will hear 

false faith of thy own feigning, to St White-ward, for thine ^„t g^ 
image-service or serving her with cheese, as though she were 
a bodily thing ? And like disputation is it of all other saints. 
And as we worship the saints with image-service, to 
obtain temporal things, even so worship we God. And as 
the Jews turned their sacrifices unto image-service, which 
were given them of God to be signs to move them to serve 
God in the spirit, even so have we our sacraments. And for 
an example let us take the mass, which, after the Romish The mass 
bishop's abuse of it, is the most damnable image-service that 'mage-ser- 

W. T. 

[2 So p. C. L., but this introductory clause is omitted in D.] 
[3 So P. C. L., but in D. as much, omitting/or.] 




We must 
ever cleave 
unto God, 
and submit 
ourselves to mercy. 
Ant. ed. 

The mass at 
the first was 
a dec It ration 
of Christ's 
Ant. ed. 

The right use 
of the mass. 
W. T. 
1 Cor. xi. 
1 Cor. X. 
and xii. 
Eph. i. 

ever was since it began. Christ, according to the testimony 
of the scripture, made in the days of his flesh satisfaction for 
all the sin of them that had believed ^ or should believe in his 
name; and obtained that they should be the sons of God, 
and taken from under the damnation of the law, and put 
under grace and mercy, and that God should henceforth deal 
with them as a merciful father dealeth with his children that 
run not away from him, no, though aught be at a time 
chanced amiss, but tarry ever still by their father and by his 
doctrine, and confess their trespass, and promise henceforth 
to enforce themselves, unto the uttermost of their power, that 
they do no more so negligently. And this purchase made he 
with the things which he suffered in his flesh, and with the 
strong prayers which he prayed. And to keep his testament 
ever fresh in mind, that it were not forgotten, he left with us 
the sacrament or sign^ of his body and blood, to strength 
our faith, and to certify our conscience, that our sins were 
forgiven, as soon as we repented and had reconciled ourselves 
unto our brethren, and to arm our souls, through the con- 
tinual remembrance of Christ's death, unto the despising 
of the world, mortifying of the flesh, and quenching of the 
lusts and thirst of worldly things : as they which have daily 
conversation with the sick and miserable, and are present at the 
deaths of men are moved to defy the world, and the lusts thereof. 

And as Christ had institute the sacrament of his body 
and blood, so the bishops, in process of time, set signs of 
all the rest of Christ's passion in the ornaments and gestures 
of the mass ; so that the whole passion was daily described 
before our eyes, as though we had presently looked upon it. 

And mark also^, see for what cause they came unto the 
sacrament. They reconciled themselves each one to other, if any 
man had offended his brother, ere they were admitted into the 
congregation or body of Christ, to be members of each other, 
knit together in one faith and love to eat the Lord's supper 
(as Paul calleth it) ; for the congregation, thus gathered, is 
called Christ's body and Christ their head. And likewise, if 
a man had been taken in open sin, against the profession 
of his baptism, he was rebuked openly ; and he confessed his 

[1 So P. C. L., but D. omits believed.] 
[2 So D., but P. C. L. omits or sign.] 
[3 So P. C. L., but D. has that thou mayest.] 


sin openly, and asked forgiveness of God, and of the congre- 
gation, whom he had offended with the example of his evil 
deed ; and took penance, as they call it, of the congregation, what pe- 
that is, certain discreet injunctions how he should live and AiTued!'"' 
order himself in time to come, and tame his flesh, for the avoid- 
ing of the said vice ; because his confession and repentance, 
which he seemed to have, should be none hypocrisy, but an 
earnest thing. For if an open sinner be found among us, we 
must immediately amend him, or cast him out of the congre- 
gation, with defiance and detestation of his sin ; as thou seest 
how quickly Paul cast out the Corinthian that kept his Grievous 
father's wife, and when he was warned would not amend. Or upon° '''' 
else, if we suffer such to be among us unrebuked, we cannot 
but at once fall from the constancy of our profession, and 
laugh and have delectation and consent unto their sin, as it is 
come to pass throughout all Christendom ; which is ten 
thousand times more abominable, than if we sinned ourselves. 
For the best man in the world, that hateth sin, might at 
a time through frailty of the flesh be drawn to sin. But it 
is altogether devilish, and a sure token that the Spirit of 
Christ is not in us, nor the profession of our baptism written 
in the heart, if we laugh at another man's sins, though we 
ourselves abstain for shame, or fear of hell, or for whatsoever 
imagination it be, or that we be so bUnd that we see no other 
sin in us than our outward deeds. And the penance enioined uifcipiine 

/> •! Ill 1 "^^'* '" '^' 

Iran persons, that could not rule themselves, was under the primitive 

^ ^ ' ' church. 

authority of the curate, and the sad and discreet men of the ^"t- ^'^• 
parish, to release part, or all at a time, if necessity required, 
or when they saw the person so grown in perfectness that he 
needed it not. But see whereto it is now come, and after 
what manner our holy father that is at Rome dispenseth with 
all together ! And see what our bishops' officers do, and 
where the authority of the curate and of the parish is become ! 
If in ten parishes round there be not one learned and discreet 
to help the other, then the devil hath a great swing among 
us, that the bishops' ofiicers, that dwell so far off, must abuse 
us as they do. And if within a diocese or an whole land we can 
find no shift, but that the bishop of Rome, that dwelleth at the 
devil in hell, must thus mock us, what a stroke, think ye, 
hath Satan among us! And all is because we be hypocrites, and 
love not the way of truth, for all our pretending the contrary. 




The de- 
scription of 
the parts of 
the mass. 
Ant. ed. 

The abo- 
minable u 
of the ma; 
Ant. ed. 

And to begin withal, tliey said Confiteor^, and know- 
lodged themselves to be sinners. And then the priest prayed 
in general for all estates and degrees, and for increase of 
grace, and in especial, if need required ; unto which prayers 
the people hearkened, and said, Amen. And then the gospel, 
and glad tidings of forgiveness of sins, was preached to stir 
up our faith. And then the sacrament was ministered for 
the confirmation of the faith of the gospel, and of the tes- 
tament made between God and us, of forgiveness of sins in 
Christ's blood for our repentance and faith ; as ye see how, 
after all bargains, there is a sign thereof made, either clapping 
of hands, or bowing a penny or a groat, or a piece of gold, 
or giving some earnest ; and as I shewed you how, after a 
truce made, they slew beasts for a confirmation. And then 
men departed, every man to his business, full certified that 
their sins were forgiven, and armed with the remembrance 
of Christ's passion and death for the mortifying of the flesh 
all the day after. And in all these was neither the sacra- 
ment, neither other ceremonies of the mass, image-service 
unto God ; and holy deeds, to make satisfaction for our 
sins, or to purchase such worldly things as the gospel teacheth 
us to despise. And now compare this use of the mass to 
ours ; and see whether the mass be not become the most 
damnable idolatry and image-service that ever was in the 

We never reconcile ourselves unto our brethren which 
we have offended ; we receive unto our mass the open sinners, 
the covetous, the extortioners, the adulterer, the backbiter, 
the common whore, and the whore-keeper, which have no 
part in Christ by the scripture ; yea, such are suffered to 
say the mass, as the use is now to speak ; yea, such are we 
compelled, with the sword, to take for our pastors and curates 
of our souls, and not so hardy to rebuke them. Neither do 
they repent, and confess their sins, and promise amendment, 
or submit themselves to wholesome injunctions for the avoiding 
of such sins and taming of their flesh. We say Confiteor, 
and knowledge ourselves to be sinners in Latin ^, but never 

\} I confess. The title of a form of public confession of sins.] 
[2 In the Roman breviary, after the priest has recited the Confiteor 
for himself, the choir replies for the people: Confiteor Deo omni- 
potonti, beata3 Mariae semper virgini, beato Michaeli archangelo, beato 


repent in English. The priest prayeth in Latin, and saith 
evermore a still mass, as we say : for though he sing 
and strain his throat to cry loud unto them that be by him, 
yet as long as no man wotteth what he prayeth, or whether 
he bless or curse, he is dumb and speechless. And so, in 
that part, we abide fruitless, and untaught how to pray unto 
God. And the gospel is sung or said in Latin only ; and no 
preaching of repentance toward the law and faith toward 
Christ had. And therefore abide we ever faithless, and 
without studying to amend our livings. And of the cere- 
monies of the mass we have none other imagination than that 
they be an holy service unto God ; which he receiveth of our 
hands, and hath great delectation in them, and that we 
purchase great favour of God with them, as we do of great 
men here in the world with gifts and presents : insomuch 
that if the priest said mass without those vestments, or left 
the other ceremonies undone, we should all quake for fear ; 
and think that there were a sin committed, enough to sink us 
all, and that the priest for his labour were worthy to be put 
in the bishop of Rome's purgatory, and there to be burnt to 
ashes 3. 

And of the very sacrament itself we know no other thing 
than that we come thither to see an unseeable miracle, [which 
they affirm the angels in heaven have no power to do*; sed solis 
preshyteris, quibus sic congruit, ut sumant, nee dent ceteris^: 
how that bread is turned into the body, and wine into the blood, The abuse ot 

w the sacra- 

Johanni Baptistse, Sanctis apostolis Petro et Paulo, omnibus Sanctis, Ant. ed. 
et tibi, pater (that is, to the officiating priest), quia peccavi nimis 
cogitatione, verbo, et opere; mea culi^a, mea culpa, mea maxima 
culpa. Ideo precor beatam Mariam semper virginem, bcatum Mi- 
chaelem archangelum, beatum Johannem Baptistam, sanctos apostolos 
Petrum et Paulum, omnes sanctos, et te, pater, orate pro me ad 
Dominum Deum nostrum. In feriali officio ad primam. — Ed. Colon. 
Agripp. 1680, p. 33—4.] 

[3 The papal law says. Cum sacerdos ad solemnia missarum accedit, 
non aliter accedat quam orario utroque humero circumseptus, ita ut 
de uno eodemque orario ceiTicem pariter et utrumque humerum 
premens, signum in suo pectore prasparet crucis. Si quis autem aliter 
egerit, excommunicationi debitse subjaceat. — Decret. prima pars, 
Dist. xxiii. c. 9. Ecclesiastica.] 

[■4 See Vol. I. p. 380, n. 4.] 

[5 " But [the power belongs] to the priests only, to whom it is so 
fitted, that they may take [this power], but not give it to others."] 

Half of the 


of Christ, to mock our seeing, smelling, feeling, and tasting ; 
which is a very strong faith, and more a great deal (I think) than 
the text compelleth a man to^] Nevertheless it were some- 
what yet, if they had been as loving, kind, careful and dihgent 
to teach the people to repent, and to believe in the blood of 
Christ for the forgiveness of their sins, unto the glory of 
the mercy of God, and of his exceeding love to us, and unto 
the profit of our souls ; and, upon that preaching, to have 
ministered the sacrament as a memorial, remembrance, sign, 
token, earnest, the seal of an obligation, and clapping of hands 
together, for the assurance of the promise of God ; to quiet, 
stablish and certify our consciences, and to put us out of all 
wavering and doubt, that our sins were forgiven us, and 
God become our father and at one with us, for which cause 
only Christ ordained it; [as they were zealous and fervent 
to maintain the opinion of so turning bread and wine into 
tli'^L^™™ the body and blood of Christ, that it ceaseth to be bread and 
Ant ed '^'ine in nature, unto their own glory and profit, without help 
of scripture, but with subtle arguments of sophistry and with 
crafty wiles : first, with taking away half the sacrament, 
lest, if the people should have drunk the blood of Christ, they 
should have smelled the savour and felt the taste of wine, 
and so have been too weak to believe that there had been no 
wine ; and secondarily, when they durst not rob the people 
of all the sacrament, they yet took away common bread, and 
im.agined maunchets which may not be handled, and in sight 
have no similitude of bread, and in eating very little taste, if 
there be any at all ; and thirdly, whom they could not 
catch with those crafts, against him they disputed with the 
sword.] For when they had^ taken away the signification 
and very intent of the sacrament, to stablish the ear-con- 
fession, their merits, deservings, justifying of works, and like 
invention, unto their own glory and profit ; what had the 
sacrament been, if they had not made of that opinion an 
article of the faith^? But now, when they have destroyed, 

[1 Those passages in this page and in the remainder of this ex- 
position which are included within brackets are found in D., but not 
in the earlier P. C, L. edition.] 

[2 In P. C. L. now they have.} 

[3 In P. C. L., what doth the sacrament admonish us, of reconciling 
us to Ood ?] 


for the nonce, that faith which profited, and have set up with 
wiles, subtilty, falsehood, guile and with violence, that faith 
which profiteth not, we have good cause to judge and examine 
the doctrine of the spirits, whether it be grounded upon God's 
word or no. 

[But I ask, wherefore we believe that Christ's body, and 
his blood, is there present ? Verily, as many heads, as many 
wits; every man hath his meaning.] We take pains to come 
thither to see strange holy gestures, whereof, say they to 
their shame, who knoweth the meaning? [yea, or of the other 
disguising ?] and to hear strange holy voices ; whereof, say I 
also, that no man knoweth the understanding ; and to look 
upon the sacrament ; and all to obtain worldly things for that 
service. Why, may not all men desire worldly things of 
God? Yes, we ought to ask of God only sufficiency of all 
worldly things, as we do spiritual things, yet not for bodily 
service, seeing'* God is a spirit ; but for the goodness and 
mercy of our Father, and for the truth of his promise and 
deservings of his Son. And so, when we do men bodily service, 
we ought to look for our wages of God, lest if he move not 
the hearts of our masters, we be shrewdly paid ; and likewise 
when we lend or bargain, we ought to desire God for pay- 
ment, lest through our negligence he forget us, and the 
appointments be not truly kept. Some there be yet, that 
ask heaven but for bodily service : which is like abomination. 

But who cometh thither with repentance and faith, for to 
obtain forgiveness of his sins, and with purpose to walk in the 
life of penance for the taming of the flesh, that he sin no more ; 
and to stablish his heart in that purpose, and to arm his soul 
against all that move to the contrary ; and when he goeth 
home, is certified in his conscience, through that sign and 
token, that his sins are forgiven him : as Noah was certified 
by the sign of the rainbow, that the world should no more be 
overrun with water ; and as Abraham was certified by the The fruitful 

' J and profit- 

sign of circumcision, that God would fulfil to him and his of'the°saSr! 
offspring all the mercies that he had promised ; and as Abra- kep"t'from 
ham, when he asked a sign, to be sure that he should possess Tm. ed. 
the land of Canaan, was certified through the sign that God 
gave him thereof, and of the four hundred years, that his 
posterity should be in thraldom in Egypt, and of their de- 

[* So P. C. L., but in D. when is substituted for seeing.'] 


liverancc ; and as Gideon was certified, by the sign of his 
fleece, of the victory that God had promised him ; and as 
many other, that believed in God, were certified by the signs 
that God gave them, of the promises which God made them ? 
Verily, no man. For our prelates, which lay for themselves, 
Compelle intrare'^, compel not us to enter into any such feast, 
nor will suffer any such meat to be set before us, for fear of 
overthrowing the foundation of their false building, whereof 
springeth so great glory and profit unto them; which foun- 
dation, to build their lies upon, they could never have laid, 
except they had first thrust this doctrine, of our soul's health, 
clean out of knowledge. And as soon as they had Winded 
the light, they became leaders in darkness, and made of the 
mass image-service ; so that the strange holy gestures, [and 
the strange holy voices, and strange holy vestures, with all 
other strange holy ceremonies,] must be meritorious works, 
to deserve long life, health, riches, honour, favour, dignity, 
and abundance of all that we have, forsaking our baptism, 
and to arm us from bearing of the cross with Christ. And 
they have made of it a pill, of two contrary operations ; so 
that the same medicine, that preserveth our souls from purga- 
tory, doth purge the body of house, lands, rents, goods and 
money, [that it is made as bare as Job, and as bald as a coot 2.] 
And the light that rebuketh them, they call seditious, that it 
maketh the subjects to rise against their princes : which 
thing the hypocrites laid some time unto the prophets, as ye 
may see in the old Testament ; and at last they laid it unto 
Christ's charge, as ye may see in the gospel ; and to the 
charge of the apostles, as ye may see in the Acts. But at 
all such times the hypocrites themselves stirred up such a 
sword, to maintain their falsehood, that evermore a great 
part of the world perished through their own mischievous 
[incensing and] provoking princes to battle. 

[These hypocrites laid to Wiclifi'e's charge, and do yet, 
that his doctrine caused insurrection. But they, to quench 
the truth of his preaching, slew the right king, and set up 
three false kings a row ^ : by which mischievous sedition they 

[1 Compel them to come in. Luke xiv. 23.] 

[2 A proverb taken from the appearance of this species of water- 
fowl, which has a callous white membrane spread over its forehead.] 
[3 See Exposition upon Matthew, p. 53. Tyndale charges the 


caused half England to be slain up, and brought the realm 
into such ruin and desolation that M. More could say, in his 
Utopia, that as Englishmen were wont to eat sheep, even so 
their sheep now eat up them by whole parishes at once, 
besides other inconveniences that he then saw. And so the 
hypocrites say now likewise, that God's word causeth insur- 
rection : but ye shall see shortly that these hypocrites them- 
selves, after their old wont and examples, in quenching the 
truth that uttereth their juggling, shall cause all realms 
christian to rise one against another, and some against 
themselves. Ye shall see them run out, before the year 
come about, that which they have been in brewing (as I have 
marked) above this dozen years, &c.] 

If This much I have said because of them that deceive you, to 
give you an occasion to judge the spirits. 

popish clergy with what he accounted the guilt of deposing Richard 
II., and of transferring the crown to the house of Lancaster, when the 
hereditary right had devolved to the house of York.] 

[tyndale, II.J 




Having arrived at the end of all that is known to be extant of 
Tyndale's expositions, our promised course leads us to his notes on 
scripture, of which we can present oui- readers with no more than 
those he composed for the margins of his intended first edition of the 
New Testament in English, It has been already mentioned (Vol. i. 
p. S), that the prologue prefixed to that edition was the first address 
from an English refonner, printed by himself for the edification of our 
forefathers ; and the following notes, originally called glosses, and re- 
probated under that name by the Romanists (Vol. i. pp. xxiii, xxvi.) are, 
in like manner, the first approach to a running comment upon the text 
of scripture ever printed in the English tongue. They were copied by 
the present editor from that fragment of the first sheets struck ofl^ by 
Tyndale, of which an account was given in Vol. i. pp. 4, 5 ; and where 
the fragment terminates, our knowledge of them ceases,] 





Abraham and David are first rehearsed, because that Christ ver. i. 
was chiefly promised unto them. 

St Matthew leaveth out certain generations, and describeth ^w. g. 
Christ's lineage from Solomon, after the law of Moses. But 
Lucas describeth it according to nature, from Nathan, Solomon's 
brother. For the law calleth them a man's children, which 
his brother begat of his wife left behind him after his death. 
Deut. XXV. 

That is to say, by the working and power of the Holy ^er. le. 

That is, he would not put her to open shame, as he well ^". 19. 
might have done by the law. Also Matthew rejoiceth of the 
goodness of Joseph, which, for love's sake, did remit of his 

Jesus is as much to say as a Saviour; for he only saveth ver. 21. 
all men from their sins by his merits, without their deserving. 

Christ bringeth God : where Christ is, there is God ; and ver. 23. 
where Christ is not, there is not God. 

Ye shall not suppose that he knew her afterward. But ver. 25. 
it is the manner of the scripture so to speak. Gen. viii. 
**The raven came not again till the water was drunk up, and 
the earth dry." The scripture meaneth not, he came again 
afterward : even so here, it followeth not that Joseph knew 
our lady^ afterward. 


Of Matthew they are called Magi; and in certain countries ^e"^- 1- 
in the east philosophers, cunning in natural causes and effects, 
and also the priests, were so called. 

Jewry is the land ; Judah is that tribe or kindred that ver. e. 
dwelt therein. 

[^ In the notes to Tyndale's Test, of 1538, of which there is a copy 
in the Bapt. Coll. Museum, Bristol, Mary is substituted for our 

lb— 2 


Rachael was buried not far from Bethlehem; and the 
prophet signifieth that as she mourned her son Benjamin, in 
whose birth she died, so should the mothers of those children 
mourn. And here may we see how it goeth alway with the 
right christian men before the world, for the faith's sake which 
they have in Christ; notwithstanding they are wonderfully 
maintained and defended alway of God against all power 
of hell. 


Locusts are more ^ than our grasshoppers ; and such men 
used to eat in divers parts of the east. 

Put your trust in God's word only, and not in Abraham. 
Let saints be an ensample unto you, and not your trust and 
confidence : for then ye make Christ of them. 

All righteousness is fulfilled when we forsake all our own 
righteousness, that God only may be counted he which is 
righteous, and maketh righteous through faith. This doth 
John, in that he putteth from him his own righteousness, and 
would be washed of Christ and made righteous. This also 
doth Christ, in that he taketh not righteousness and honour on 
him ; but suffereth himself to be baptized and killed : for 
baptism is none other thing than death. 


The world thinketh to possess the earth, and to defend 
their own, when they use violence and power ; but Christ 
teacheth that the world must be possessed with meekness only, 
and without power and violence. 

All these deeds here rehearsed, as to nourish peace, to 
shew mercy, to suffer persecution, and so forth, make not a 
man happy and blessed ; neither deserveth he reward of 
heaven ; but declare and testify that we are happy and 
blessed, and that we shall have great promotion in heaven ; 
and certify us in our breasts that we are God's sons, and that 
the Holy Ghost is in us : for all good things are given to us 
freely of God, for Christ's blood sake and his merits. 

When the preachers cease to preach God's word, then 

[1 That is, greater.] 


must they needs be oppressed, and trod under foot, with 
man's traditions. 

Jot is as much to say as the least letter ; for so is the ver. is. 
least letter, that the Greeks or Hebrews have, called. 

This do they which say that these, Christ's command- ver. 19. 

«/ '' First cla 

ments, are not commandments but counsels. 

"Called the least;" that is to say, shall be Httle set by 
and despised. 

" Called great ; " that is to say, shall be much set by 
and had in reverence. 

The goodness of the Pharisees standeth in outward works ver. 20. 
and appearance ; but Christ requireth goodness of the heart. 

Racha is the hoarse sound in the throat ; and betokeneth ver. 22. 
all signs of wrath. 

To pluck out spiritually is here commanded ; that is, ver. 29. 
when the eyes' lust is put away, and killed in the heart. 

All swearing and oaths, which a man of himself doth, ver. 34. 
are here forbidden. Nevertheless when love, need, thy 
neighbour's profit, or God's honour requireth it, then is it 
well done to swear ; like as wrath is forbidden, and yet is 
laudable when it proceedeth of love, to honour God withal. 

No man should avenge himself, or seek wreak, no, not by ^er. 39. 
the law. But the ruler, which hath the sword, should do 
such things of himself; or when the neighbours, of love, warn 
him and require him. 

Publicans gathered rents, toll, custom, and tribute; and were ver. 46. 
commonly heathen men, thereunto appointed of the Romans. 


Ye shall not think that our deeds deserve anything of ver. 4. 
God, as a labourer deserveth his hire. For all good things 
come of the bounteousness, liberality, mercy, promises, and 
truth of God, by the deserving of Christ's blood only ; but 
it is a manner of speaking, as we say, * Thy labour, or going 
was well rewarded,' unto him that hath but fett^ only the 
promises of another man. 

The eye is single, when a man in all his deeds looketh ver. 22. 

but on the will of God, and looketh not for laud, honour, or 

any other reward in this world; neither ascribeth heaven, or 

a higher room in heaven, unto his deeds, but accepteth heaven 

[2 Brought away, carried off.] 


as a thing purchased by the blood of Christ, and worketh 
freely for love's sake only. 

Men heat their furnaces and ovens with such things in 
those countries. 

Trouble^ is the daily labour. He will it be enough that 
we labour daily, without farther care. 


To judge, or condemn, belongeth to God only. Therefore 
whosomever judgeth, without God's commandment, taketh 
God's honour from him ; and that is the beam in the eye. 

The holy things are the word of God, that sanctifieth 
all things. Dogs are the persecutors of the word. Swine 
are they which are drowned in fleshly lusts, and despise the 

Here Christ requireth faith ; for where faith is not, 
there is not the command fulfilled, Rom. xiii. And all good 
works after outward appearance, without faith, are sin : con- 
trariwise, where faith is, there must the very good works 
follow. Christ calleth here doing, to do with a pure heart. 
Acts XV. ; and such goodness standeth fast against all winds, 
that is to say, against all the power of hell ; for it is built on 
the rock, Christ, through faith. 


Faith knoweth not, yet trusteth in the favour and good- 
ness of God. 

Moses calleth the law a witness unto the people (Deut. 
xxxi.); for the law accuseth us, and is a testimony against our 
sin. Likewise here, if the priests bare record that Christ 
had cleansed this leper, and yet believed not, then testified 
they against themselves. 

Centurion is a captain of a hundred men ; whom I call 
sometime a centurion, but for the most part a hunder- 

Some pretend good works, because they would not follow 
Christ and beheve ; but Christ signifieth that such works are 
dead and lost. 


This city was Capernaum. 

[1 Each day's trouble is sufficient for the self-same day. Tyndale's 


Mourn, that is, to suffer pain. There is pain in many 
ways : one way, of a man's own choice and election ; as is 
the monks' rules, and as Baal's priests pricked themselves, 
3 Kings xviii. : such pain doth all the world, the Pharisees, 
yea, John's disciples, esteem great; but God despiseth it. 
Another ways is there pain, and ordained of God, without 
our election ; as shame, rebuke, wrong, death : such to suffer 
patiently, and with good-will, is the right cross, and pleaseth 
God well : so Christ's disciples fast not, but are merry at the 
marriage, while the bridegroom is yet with them ; yea, and 
God had yet ordained no trouble for them. They fain^ 
themself no pain ; for it pleaseth not God. They must fast 
after Christ's death, and suffer pain of God's hand and or- 
dinance. So now, whatsoever a man taketh on him by his 
own election, that is reproved ; yea, and where Christ shew- 
eth himself friendly, as a bridegroom, there must needs be a 
merry heart. 

With these words Christ driveth them ft'om him, as them 
which understood not his learning, as concerning the liberty 
of his disciples; and saith, "No man mendeth an old garment 
with new cloth, for the old holdeth not the stitch:" as who 
saith, " Such spiritual new learning cannot be comprehended 
with old fleshly hearts." Preach to fleshly people, and they 
wax worse ; as we see, when spiritual liberty is preached, the 
flesh draweth it unto carnal lust. 

The harvest are the people, ready to receive the evan- ■ 
gelion ; and the labourers are the true preachers. 


Beyond the sea, commonly, they have as well brasen 
money as of gold and silver^. girdies. 

That is, see that ye take nothing of them, insomuch that ver. 14. 
ye shake off the very dust from your shoes, that they may 
know how ye sought not your own profit, but their health. 

[2 Fain : desire. So Spenser. F. Q. Cant. iv. St. 47.] 
[3 It was not till the reign of James I. that the English sovereigns 
issued a copper coinage. As late as 1604 the royal mint issued pence 
and halfpence in silver. Macpherson's Hist, of Commerce, pp. 242 
and 256, under date of 1609. But "beyond the sea," in Ireland for 
example, copper coin had come into common use in the reign of 
Edward III., who made a vain effort to restrain the Irish from buying 
or selling with black money, as he styled it.] 


Brass in your 


ver. 23. Last That Is, vG sliall not have converted or preached. 

ver?27. That is to say, openly, where every man may hear. 

ver. 41. "In the name of a prophet ;" that is, in that he pertaineth 

to God and to Christ. 
lu'tfc^d Compare deed to deed, so is one greater than another; 

water. j^^^; comparo them to God, so are they all alike, and one as 

good as another ; even as the spirit moveth a man, and time 

and occasion giveth. 


ver. 6. Hurt Hurtcd and offended, throughout all the new Testament, 

offende(i in ' betokcnetli to decay and faule in the faith. For many, when 
Ver. ■ they saw that Christ was but a carpenter's son, as they sup- 
posed, and he himself also a carpenter, and his mother and 
kin of so low degree, moreover, when they saw him put to so 
vile a death, fell clean from the faith, and could not believe, 
ver. 11. Less, that is Christ^ 

When the consciences perceive the gospel, they thrust in. 
Nothing can let them. 

To upbraid is to cast a man in the teeth. 
The cross is an easy thing to them that perceive the 


The understanding of all commandments stands so greatly 
in love, that the very commandments of God bind not where 
love and need require. 

That is, wasted, destroyed, and brought to nought. 

Sin against the Holy Ghost is despising of the gospel and 
his workhig. Where that bideth is no remedy of sin : for 
it fighteth against faith, which is the forgiveness of sin. 
If that be put away, faith may enter in, and all sins depart. 

Where Matthew saith here, "Neither in the world to 
come," Mark saith, "He is in danger of eternal damnation." 

A viper is after the manner of an adder, viz. a worm 
most full of poison. 

\} In his answer to ch. viii. of B. ii. of More's Dialogue, [date 1531] 
Tyndale gives a comment on these words of our Lord to the same 
purpose, but at greater length. In his now Testament diligently 
corrected, printed at Antwerp in 1534, this note is changed into the 
following : " Christ which humbled himself to the cross was less."] 

less in the 
kingdom of 
heaven. T. V 
ver. 12. 

ver. 20. 

ver. 2.5. 
Shall be 
ver 31. 


Here may ye see that words and deed declare out- ver. 35-7. 
wardly what a man is within, and are witnesses with him 
or against him, but never make him good or bad ; as the 
fruit declareth what the tree is, but maketh it neither good 
nor bad. 


Where the word of God is understood, there it multiplieth, ver. 12. 
and maketh the people better. Where it is not understood, 
there it decreaseth, and maketh the people worse. 

The seed is sown in the ground ; and the ground is sown ver. ia-23. 
with the word of God. 

Tares and cockle are weeds that grow among corn. ver. 25. 

There is not so simple a thing in the world, or more ver. 32. 
despised than the gospel ; and yet it saveth and justifieth 
them that believe thereon. The law and the works doeth 
it not. 

Leaven betokeneth the gospel also ; for it changeth a man ver. 33. 
into a new creature. 

Treasure hid is the gospel, which giveth us grace and ver. 44. 
righteousness without our deserving. Therefore we find it, 
and make joy, and have a merry conscience ; a thing that no 
man can obtain with works. 

The pearl is also the evangelion. ver. 46. 

Old ; the law. Neiv ; the gospel, or evangelion. '>'er- 62. 


TetrarcJia is he that hath rule over the fourth part of the ver. i. 
realm. Jewry, with her pertenance, was then divided into 
four lordships. 

The night in the old time was divided into four quarters ; ver. 25. 
and to every part was given three hours. 


Mark the leaven of the Pharisees. God would that the ver. 5. 
son should honour his father and mother with his temporal thing i offer. 
goods ; and the Pharisees for their temporal lucre interpreted doth profit 
it, saying, ' God is thy father and thy mother ; offer to him.' t- ^• 
So were the Pharisees' dishes full with robbery and extortion ; 
and the poor fathers and mothers perish for hunger and 


r.9-13. Traditions of men must fail at the last. God's word 

bideth ever. 


r. 3 The signs are Christ's wonderful deeds and miracles, 

which were prophesied of before, that they should be done in 
Christ's time. 

r. 17-18. Peter in the Greek signifieth a stone in English. This 

confession is the rock. Now is Simon Bar-Jona, or Simon 
Jonas' son, called Peter, because of his confession. Whoso- 
ever then of this wise confesseth Christ is called Peter. Now 
is this confession common to all that are true Christians. 
Then is every christian man and woman Peter. Read Bede, 
Austin, and Hierome of the manner of loosing and binding ; 
and note how Hierome checketh the presumption of the Pha- 
risees in his time, which yet had not so monstrous interpre- 
tations as our new gods have feigned. Read Erasmus' Anno- 
tations. It was not for nought that Christ bade " beware of 
the leaven of the Pharisees." Nothing is so sweet that they 
make not sour with their traditions. The evangehon, that 
joyful tidings, is now bitterer than the old law. Christ's 
burden is heavier than the yoke of Moses. Our condition 
and estate is ten times heavier than was ever the Jews', the 
Pharisees have so leavened Christ's sweet bread. 

.23. It soundeth in Greek, 'Away from me, Satan;' and are 

the same words which Christ spake unto the devil, when he 
would have had him to fall down and worship him. 

27. For the deeds testify what a man is inward. The tree 
shall be praised according to his fruit. 

28. That is. Whosoever beheveth on me shall not see death. 


21. Strong faith requireth fervent prayer ; and prayer re- 

quireth fasting to subdue the body, that lusts unquiet not a 
man's mind. 

-'G- Though Christ were free, yet gave he tribute for his 

neighbour's sake. So is a christian man free in all things, 
as pertaining to his own part; yet payeth he tribute, and 
submitteth himself to all men for his brother's sake, to serve 
his brother withal. 


Note here, All biad and loose. 


Laws permit and suffer many things, to avoid a worse ver. s. 
inconvenience, which God will judge and punish. 

The third chastity must be ghostly understood, i.e. ver. 12. 

. , . ,, . , Have made 

voluntary chastity ; or else it were all one with the second, ch™!'^'^^^ 
which is outward in the flesh. ^- "^• 

As Christ speaketh, John viii. " My doctrine is not my ver. 17. 
doctrine," even so saith he here, "I am not good;" for he 
speaketh of his humanity, wherewith he ever leadeth us to 

Perfectness is properly the keeping of God's command- ver. 21. 
ments. Therefore it appeareth evidently that this man had 
not fulfilled God's commandments groundly, as he yet sup- 
posed ; and that Christ declareth, when he putteth forth 
unto him the right work of the commandment, and judgeth 
that none of the rich men can be saved, of whose number this 
young man was, yet shall all they be safe that keep God's 


Seven o'clock with us is one with the Jews ; and nine is ver. i-e. 
three : twelve is six : three at afternoon is nine ; and five is 
eleven with them, and six is eventide. 

By this similitude may ye perceive that no similitude serv- ver. 8-12. 
eth throughout ; but some one thing contained in the similitude : 
as this long parable pertaineth but hereunto, that work-holy 
shall despise weak sinners ; which same work-holy shall not 
there have their reward, as these which come first have here ; 
but shall be reject and put away, because they challenge it of 
merit, and not of mercy and grace. 

The cup signifieth the cross and suffering : but the flesh ver. 22. 
would be glorified yer ^ than crucified ; would be exalted and 
lift up on high, yer than cast down. 

Redeem is to deliver out of bondage, ver. 23. 

As many as called him son of David believed that he was Lmp'^fon of 
very Messias, that great prophet promised of God, which t.*v!" 

\} Ere, before, sooner.] 


should come and redeem Israel. For it was promised that 
Messias should be David's son. 


Hosanna is as much to say as, help ; or, O give good 
luck and health. 

John taught the very way unto righteousness. For he 
interpreted the law right ; and damned man, and all his deeds 
and righteousness, and drave men unto Christ to seek true 
righteousness through mercy obtained by his blood. 

All must fall or stumble at Christ ; some to their salvation, 
some to their damnation. 

[Title of first edition.] 

Cfte f ractpde of prelates?. 

§ 2I2E]&et]^er tfie liinge's grace mage hz scparatEtJ 

from jbgs pene, because s5f foas 

j^i's brotj^er's fogfe. 


In the yere of oure Lorde, 

[Title of edition of 1548.] 

Sf)e prart|)^e of prelates?* 

©ompgleU bg t^e faitbfull anlj goblg learnetr man, 
SStgllgam ^gntiale. 

UmpdntcD at Sontion, lig ^ntjong .^colofecr anl) 22atllgam 

3(tt$i DiDcUgngc fegt^out ^cmplc=tiattc in tj^c 

5abog rented, ^nno 1548. ©um prt= 

bilcgio aD imprimcnt)um golum. 

[Title in Day's reprint.] 

®{)e practfee of papisticall prelates?, 

matre bg SiSEglliam ^gntiale, 

In the yeare of our Lorde, 1530. 


The earliest known production of Tyndale, belonging to the class 
properly styled polemical, was ' The practice of prelates.' It issued 
from Hans Luft's press at Marburg, in 15301; and the editor has 
collated a copy of that first edition 2 with the text of an edition pub- 
lished in the reign of Edward VI. by Scoloker and Seres 3, and with 
that of Day's folio reprint of Tyndale, edited for him by Foxe in the 
reign of Elizabeth. As the prelates whose conduct Tyndale intended 
to expose were indisputably those of the church of Rome, it was 
thought proper to mark this, in an edition issued after the establish- 
ment of a protestant prelacy ; especially when that prelacy had begun 
to be assailed by men who might be tempted to cite Tyndale's words 
as meant to condemn any inequality of ranks, amongst the presbyters 
of a Christian church. Hence in Day's reprint this treatise is called 
' The practise of papistical prelates,' and its running title, at the head 
of Day's pages, is * The practise of popishe prelates.' 

But, besides this unimportant alteration, there are considerable 
suppressions in both of the old reprints. For when its author was 
composing this treatise, it was notorious that Henry VIII. was bent 
on having his marriage with Catharine of Aragon dissolved as unlawful ; 
and Tyndale, thinking that the king's popish pi-elates had instilled 
needless scruples into his breast for treacherous ends, announced 
in the original title-page, that the question of the lawfulness of put- 
ting her away was therein considered; and towards the close of the 
treatise he contended at some length, that it was neither necessary 
nor right to deny that Catharine was the king's lawful wife. As the 
English reformers were eventually well nigh unanimous in holding 
the contrary opinion, Scoloker and Seres omitted every passage 
which bore upon this question, to make their edition more acceptable 
to their protestant customers ; and as Day and Foxe must have felt 
that arguments tending to prove the validity of Catharine's marriage, 
must also tend to prove that it was not lawful for Henry to marry 
Anne Boleyn, and consequently made the legitimacy of Elizabeth's 
birth a disputable point, their attachment to their protestant sove- 
reign naturally led them to continue the like suppressions, though 
they did not carry their caution to quite the same extent. The Parker 
Society cannot follow the example of these editors ; for whilst it only 
reproduces the works of such writers as appear to its council to 
have been faithful expositors of scriptural truths, it does not desu-e to 
have them regarded as infallible teachers. Its principle is to issue 

[' See Biographical notice of Tyndale, pp. xxxix — xli.] 

[* F. 13, 40 in the Cambridge University Library.] 
• In the possession of the Parker Society. J 


honest I'eprints of such works as it selects for republication ; leaving 
it to its readers to compare what is written with " the law and the tes- 
timony;" that test which it was the glory of the reformers to have 
restored to its due authority. In the present instance, suppression 
could not have consigned to oblivion what may be objectionable ; for 
the ' Practice of Prelates ' was reprinted entire but a few years ago, in 
the Rev. T. Russell's edition of Tyndale's works : and respectable his- 
torians would have been unjustly made liable to the suspicion of 
being either culpably heedless, or dishonest, if a treatise to which they 
have referred had been republished as correct, after the excision 
of passages which they have quoted.] 



When the old scribes and Pharisees had darkened the 
scripture with their traditions, and false interpretations, and 
wicked persuasions of fleshly wisdom ; and shut up the king- 
dom of heaven, which is God's word, that the people could 
not enter in unto the knowledge of the true way, as Christ 
Matt. xxui. complaineth in the gospel (Matt, xxiii.); then they sat in the 
hearts of men with their false doctrine in the stead of God 
and his word, and slew the souls of the people to devour 
their bodies, and to rob them of their worldly substance. 
But when Christ and John the Baptist had restored the 
scripture again unto the true understanding, and had uttered 
their falsehood, and improved their traditions, and confounded 
their false interpretations with the clear and evident texts, 
and with power of the Holy Ghost, and had brought all 
their juggling and hypocrisy to light ; thqn they gat them 
unto the elders of the people, and persuaded them, saying, 
^"e of^Ke^"" * This man is surely of the devil ; and his miracles be of the 
newirprac- dovil, uo doubt. And these good works which he doth in 
pope and h!s hcaliug the people, yea, and his preaching against our co- 
vetousness, are but a cloak to bring him unto his purpose ; 
that, when he hath gotten him disciples enough, he may rise 
against the emperor and make himself king. And then shall 
the Romans come, and take our land from us, and carry 
away our people, and put other nations in our realm : and 
so shall we lose all that we have, and the most part of us 
our Hves thereto. Take heed, therefore, betimes, while there 
is remedy, ere he go so far that ye be not able to resist him.' 
KnSare" ^ho oldors of the people, which were rich and wealthy, 
chri^tilnuV though bofore they in a manner favoured Christ, or at the 

[^ The marginal notes belonging to the Marburg edition will be 
marked W. T. The others were probably penned by Foxe for Day's 




least way were indifferent, not greatly caring whether God 
or the devil reigned, so that they might bide in their au- 
thority, feared immediately (as Herod did of the loss of his 
kingdom, when the wise men asked where the newborn king 
of the Jews was), and conspired with the scribes and Phari- 
sees against Christ, and took him and brought him unto 
Pilate, saying, " We have found this fellow perverting the The Jews 
people, and forbidding to pay tribute unto Caesar, and saying cusedViu 
that he is a^ king, and moving the people from Gahlee unto 
this place." Then Pilate, though he likewise was before in- 
different, put^ now in fear of the loss of his office, through 
such persuasions, slew innocent Christ. And in very deed, 
as the scribes and Pharisees were all their lives before blind 
guides, unto the destruction of their souls ; even so were 
they at their last end blind prophets, unto the destruction of 
their bodies. For after that they had slain Christ and divers The cme 

^ Jews, by 

of his apostles, and persecuted those poor wretches that be- ""l^^^l^ 
lieved on him, God, to avenge the poor innocent blood that procur°d'?h'e 
bare witness unto his* truth, poured his wrath among them, Sfcfto"'*"^ 
that they themselves rose against the emperor : and the tifem'seivrsr 
Eomans came (according as they blindly prophesied), and 
slew the most part of them, and carried the rest captive into 
all nations, and put other nations in the realm. But whose 
fault was that insurrection against the emperor, and mischief 
that followed ? Christ's and his apostles, whom they falsely 
accused beforehand ? Nay ^ Christ taught that they should 
give Caesar that which pertained unto Caesar, and God that 
which belonged to God : even that they should give Caesar 
their lawful bodily service, and God the heart ; and that 
they should love God's law, and repent of their evil, and 
come and receive mercy, and let the wrath of God be taken 
from off them. And the apostles taught that all souls should ^^"i^g^P^^I'^" 
obey the higher powers, or temporal rulers. But their ob- obedience. 
stinate malice, that so hardened their hearts that they could 
not repent, and their railing upon the open and manifest 
truth, which they could not improve, and resisting the Holy 
Ghost, and slaying of the preachers of righteousness, brought 

[2 So Scoloker and Seres, ed. Day omits a. ] 
[3 So Marburg ed. and Day ; S. and S. ed. has hut^ 
[■* So both the older edd. Day has tlie^ 
[5 So M. ed ; S. and S. has No.'\ 

r -^ 16 

[tyndale, II.J 



The practice 
of our pre- 
lates in these 

A good ad- 
monition to 
all blind 

the wrath of God upon them, and was cause of their utter 

Even so our scribes and Pharisees, now that their hypo- 
crisy is disclosed, and their falsehood so brought to hght 
that it can no longer be hid, get them unto the elders of the 
people, the lords, gentlemen, and temporal officers, and to 
all that love this world as they do, and unto whosoever is 
great with the king, and unto the king's grace himself; and 
after the same ensample, and with the same persuasions, cast 
them into like fear of losing of their worldly dominions, and 
roar unto them, saying, ' Ye be negligent, and care nothing 
at all, but have a good sport that the heretics rail on us. 
But give them space a while, till they be grown unto a 
multitude, and then ye shall see them preach as fast against 
you, and move the people against you, and do their best to 
thrust you down also, and shall cry havoc, and make all 
common.' generation of serpents, how well declare ye that 
ye be the right sons of the father of all lies ! For they, 
which ye call heretics, preach nothing save that which our 
Saviour Jesus Christ preached, and his apostles ; adding 
nought thereto, nor plucking aught therefrom, as the scrip- 
ture commandeth; and teach all men repentance to God and 
his holy law, and faith unto our Saviour Jesus Christ, and 
the promises of mercy made in him, and obedience unto all 
that God commandeth to obey. Neither teach we so much 
as to resist your most cruel tyranny with bodily violence, 
save with God's word only ; intending nothing but to drive 
you out of the temple of Christ, the hearts, consciences, and 
souls of men (wherein with your falsehood ye sit), and to 
restore again Jesus our Saviour unto his possession and in- 
heritance bought with his blood, whence ye have driven him 
out with your manifold wiles and subtilty. 

Take heed, therefore, wicked prelates, blind leaders of 
the blind ; indurate and obstinate hypocrites, take heed. 
For if the Pharisees for their resisting the Holy Ghost, 
that is to say, persecuting the open and manifest truth, and 
slaying the preachers thereof, escaped not the wrath and 
vengeance of God ; how shall ye escape, which are far worse 
than the Pharisees ? For though the Pharisees had shut up 
the scripture, and set up their own professions ; yet they 
kept their own professions, for the most part. But ye will 


be the chiefest in Christ's flock, and yet will not keep one our prelates 

'' '■ seek to be 

jot of the right way of his doctrine. Ye have thereto set up ^|''^^3^^'^ 

wonderful professions, to be more holy thereby than ye think 

that Christ's doctrine is able to make you, and yet keep as 

little thereof, except it be with dispensations ; insomuch that swarms of 

if a man ask you, what your marvellous fashioned playing tfy thfpope 

coats and your other puppetry mean, and what your dis- Stes.'*^"^^" 

figured heads and all your apish ^ play mean, ye know not: 

and yet are they but signs of things which ye have professed. 

Thirdly, ye will be papists and hold of the pope ; and yet, p^Jf^f Jhe^ 

look in the pope's law, and ye keep thereof almost nought fhjlri'ordf 

at all. But whatsoever soundeth to make for your bellies, noVanofh^ 

and to maintain your honour, whether in the scripture, or in 

your own traditions, or in the pope's law, that ye compel 

the lay-people to observe ; violently threatening them with 

your excommunications and curses, that they shall be damned, 

both body and soul, if they keep them not. And if that The pope-s 

• • clercv Site 

help you not, then ye murder them mercilessly with the murderers. 
sword of the temporal powers ; whom ye have made so bhnd 
that they be ready to slay whom ye command, and will not 
yet hear his cause examined, nor give him room to answer 
for himself. 

And ye elders of the people, fear ye God also. For as Agoodad- 

<J 1 i ' «/ monition to 

the elders of the Jews, which were partakers with the scribes ^n ruiers. 
and Pharisees in resisting the Holy Ghost, and in persecuting 
the open truth, and slaying the witnesses thereof, and in 
provoking the wrath of God, had their part with them also 
in the day of wrath and sharp vengeance, which shortly after 
fell upon them, (as the nature of the sin against the Holy 
Ghost is, to have her damnation, not only in the world to 
come, but also in this life, according unto all the ensamples 
of the bible and authentic stories since the world began ;) 
even likewise ye, if ye will wink in so open and clear light, 
and let yourselves be led blindfold, and have your part with 
the hypocrites in like sin and mischief, be sure ye shall have 
your part with them in like wrath and vengeance, that is 
like shortly to fall upon them. 

And concerning that the hypocrites put you in fear of 
the rising of your commons against you, I answer : If ye 

[1 M. ed. has apes.} 



The common fear your comiTions, so testify ye against yourselves, that ye 
S'by hy- are tyrants. For if your consciences accused you not of evil 
doing, what need ye to fear your commons ? What commons 
were ever so evil, that they rose against their heads for well- 
doing ? Moreover, ye witness against yourselves also that 
ye have no trust in God : for he hath promised the temporal 
officers assistance, if they minister their offices truly ; and to 
care for the keeping of them, as much as they care for to 
keep his laws. 
ciergyTre^ The hypocritcs haply bid you take an ensample of the 

liars. uplandish people of Almany, which they lie that Martin 

Luther stirred up. For first, what one sentence in all the 
writing of Martin Luther find they, that teacheth a man to 
resist his superior? Moreover, if Martin Luther and the 
preachers had stirred up the common people of Germany, 
how happened it that Martin Luther and other like preachers 
had not perished likewise with them ; which are yet all alive 
at this hour ' ? Ye will ask me. Who stirred them up then ? 
I ask you, Who stirred up the commons of the Jews to resist 
the emperor, after that the scribes and Pharisees, with the 
elders of the people, had slain Christ and his apostles? 
The wrath of Verily, the wrath of God. And even so here, the wrath of 
up the people God stirrcd them up; partly to destroy the enemies and 

to destroy the r ' r t/ J 

enemies and persccutors of tho truth, and partly to take vengeance on 

persecutors A ' r ./ O 

of the truth, those camal beasts which abused the gospel of Christ, to 
make a cloak of it to defend their fleshly liberty, and not to 
obey it and to save their souls thereby. 

If kings, lords, and great men, therefore, fear the loss of 

God is the this world; let them fear God also. For in fearinsr God 

defender of o 

''ii'nces"'* shall they prolong their days upon the earth ; and not with 
fighting against God. The earth is God's only ; and his 
favour and mercy doth prolong the days of kings in their 
estate, and not their own power and might. 

And let all men (be they never so great) hearken unto this, 
i^ii'^s and ^^^ ^®*' ^^^^^ ^® ^^ answer unto them. Wicked king Ahab said 
perteeute^' ""to the prophct EUas, " Art thou he that troublest Israel ?" 
^^'ters^'ire And Elias answered, "It is not I that trouble Israel, but thou 
of'thems'l'fvls aud thy father's household, in that ye have forsaken the com- 

and their 

not the [1 So the M. ed. being published in 1630; but in the edition of 

preaciers. 1543^ jf, jg yjiilch lived long after. The insurrection alluded to, being 
that headed by Munzer, occurred in 1525.] 


mandments of the Lord and follow idols." Even so the preachers 
of the truth, which rebuke sin, are not the troublers of realms 
and commonwealths, but they that do wickedly ; and namely 
high prelates and mighty princes, which walk without the fear 
of God, and hve abominably, corrupting the common people 
with their ensample. They be they that bring the wrath of 
God on all realms, and trouble all commonwealths with war, 
dearth, poverty, pestilence, evil luck, and all misfortune. 

And unto all subjects be it said, if they profess the law as many as 
of God and faith of the Lord Jesus, and will be Christ's disdpfes o^f 

Christ, must 

disciples ; then let them remember that there was never man J^^™ °^j™ 
so great a subject as Christ was; there was never creature that ^JJ^g^^'^j^; 
suffered so great unright so patiently and so meekly as he. J^s^|^ 
Therefore, whatsoever they have been in times past, let them 
now think that it is their parts to be subject in the lowest 
kind of subjection, and to suffer all things patiently. If the 
high powers be cruel unto you with natural cruelty ; then 
with softness and patience ye shall either win them, or miti- 
gate their fierceness. If they join them unto the pope, and vemust^ 
persecute you for your faith and hope which ye have in the ^^^^'y*]Jf^' 
Lord Jesus ; then call to mind that ye be chosen to suffer ^^^^ ^fe* To'" 
here with Christ, that ye may joy with him in the Ufe to ''°"^- 
come with joy everlasting, that shall infinitely pass this your 
short pain here. If they command that God forbiddeth, or 
forbid that God commandeth, then answer as the apostles did, 
(Acts v.), "That God must be obeyed more than man." If Acts v. 
they compel you to suffer unright ; then Christ shall help 
you to bear, and his Spirit shall comfort you. But only see 
that neither they put you from God's word ; nor ye resist 
them with bodily violence. But abide patiently awhile, till 
the hypocrisy of hypocrites be slain with the sword of God's 
■word, and until the word be openly pubHshed and witnessed 
unto the powers of the world, that their blindness may be 
without excuse : and then will God awake as a fierce lion, God win be 


against those cruel wolves which devour his lambs ; and will "ij."^^"^"^' 
play with the hypocrites, and compass them in their own 
wiles ; and send them a dasing in the head, and a swimming 
in their brains; and destroy them with their own counsel. 
And then those mahcious and wilful blind persecutors, which, 
refusing mercy when they were called thereto, chose rather 
to have their part with hypocrites in shedding of innocent 


blood, shall be partakers with them also in having their own 
blood shed again, God giving an occasion that one wicked 
shall destroy another. 
inthetrea- And as for wickcdness, whence it springeth, and who is 

tise following ' l o ' 

whSarethe ^^^ causc of all insurrcction, and of the fall of princes, and 

sunecTion.'"' ^^^ shortening of their days upon the earth, thou shalt see 

in the glass following, which I have set before thine 

eyes, not to resist the hypocrites with violence (which 

vengeance pertaineth unto God) ; but that thou 

mightest see their wicked ways and abominable 

paths, to withdraw thyself from after ^ them, 

and to come again to Christ, and walk in 

his light, and to follow his steps, and to 

commit the keeping both of thy body 

and soul also unto him, and unto 

the Father through him, 

whose name be glorious 

for ever. Amen. 

[1 S. and S. edition omits after; but it is found in M. and in Day's 


Prelates appointed to preach Christ may not leave God's word, and 
minister temporal offices; but ought to teach the lay-people the 
right way, and let them alone with all tempoi'al business. 

Our Saviour Jesus Christ answered Pilate, that his kingdom Johnxvui. 
was not of this world. And (Matthew, in the tenth.) he saith, Matt. x. 
" The disciple is not greater than his master ; but it ought to 
suffice the disciple, that he be as the master is." Wherefore if The ministers 

. . . of Christ s 

Christ's kingdom be not of this world, nor any of his disciples tioctrine may 

o ' t/ 1 not have any 

may be otherwise than he .was ; then Christ's vicars, which offiLe^^^ 
minister his kingdom here in his bodily absence, and have the 
oversight of his flock, may be none emperors, kings, dukes, 
lords, knights, temporal judges, or any temporal officer, or 
under false names have any such dominion, or minister any 
such office as requireth violence. 

And, (Matt, vi.) " No man can serve two masters :" where 
Christ concludeth, saying, " Ye cannot serve God and mam- 
mon;" that is, riches, covetousness, ambition, and temporal 

And (Matt, xx.) Christ called his disciples unto him, and said : Matt. xx. 
'* Ye know that the lords of the heathen people have dominion 
over them ; and they that be great do exercise power over them. 
Howbeit, it shall not be so among you : but whosoever will 
be great among you shall be your minister ; and he that will 
be chief shall be your servant : even as the Son of man came 
not that men should minister unto him, but for to minister and 
give his life for the redemption of many." Wherefore the The officers 

m • /-.I • •, 1 • 1 1 1 • • '" Christ's 

officers in Christ s kingdom may have no temporal dominion kingdom 

O tJ 1 ^ may have no 

or jurisdiction, nor execute any temporal authority or law of ^^JJ^p°[^^ 
violence, nor may have any like manner among them : but 
clean contrary, they must cast themselves down under all, 
and become servants unto all, suffer of all, and bear the 
burden of every man's infirmities, and go before them, and 
fight for them against the world with the sword of God's 
word, even unto the death, after the example of Christ. 

And (Matt, xviii.), when the disciples asked who should be Matt, xviii. 
greatest in the kingdom of heaven, Christ "called a young child 
unto him, and set him in the midst among them, saying. Except 
ye turn back, and become as children, ye shall not enter in the 



To receive 
a child in 
name, what 
it is. 

kingdom of heaven." Now young children bear no rule one 
over another, but all is fellowship among them. And he said 
moreover : " Whosoever humbleth himself after the ensample 
of this child, he is greatest in the kingdom of heaven ;" that 
is, to be (as concerning ambition and worldly desire) so child- 
ish that thou couldst not heave thyself above thy brother, is 
the very bearing of rule, and to be great in Christ's kingdom. 
And, to describe the very fashion of the greatness of his king- 
dom, he said, " He that receiveth one such child in my name, 
receiveth me." What is that, to receive a child in Christ's 
name ? Verily, to submit, to meek, and to humble thyself, 
and to cast thyself under all men ; and to consider all men's 
infirmities and weaknesses ; and to help to heal their diseases 
with the word of truth, and to live purely, that they see no 
contrary ensample in thee to whatsoever thou teachest them 
in Christ ; that thou put no stumbhng-block before them, to 
make them fall while they be yet young and weak in the 
iThess.v. faith: but that thou abstain, as Paul teacheth, (1 Thess. v.) 
ah omni specie mala\ from all that might seem evil, or 
whereof a man might surmise amiss; and that thou so love 
them, that whatsoever gift of God in thee is, thou think the 
same theirs, and their food, and for their sakes given unto 
thee, as the truth is ; and that all their infirmities be thine, 
and that thou feel them, and that thine heart mourn for them ; 
and that with all thy power thou help to amend them, and 
cease not to cry to God for them, neither day nor night; 
and that thou let nothing be found in thee, that any man may 
rebuke, but whatsoever thou teachest them, that be thou ; 
The iwpe is a and that thou be not a wolf in a lamb's skin, as our holy 
lambs skin, father the pope is, which cometh unto us in a name of hy- 
pocrisy, and in the title of cursed Cham, or Ham 2, calling 
himself Servus servorum, the servant of all servants, and is 
yet found Tyrannus tyrannorum^ of all tyrants the most 

[} From every evil appearance.] 

[2 The first letter in the name of this son of Noah having no exact 
representative in our alphabet, the Latin vulgate puts cli for it, vpriting 
the name Cham : but ch, as pronounced in English, produces a sound 
more unlike that which belongs to heth, than is the sound of our h. 
Hence Tyndale thought it better to write the name Ham; and that 
improvement in the spelling of this and various other names, which his 
knowledge of Hebrew enabled him to introduce into the English Old 
Testament, has been preserved in our authorised version.] 


cruel. This is to receive young children in Christ's name; 
and to receive young children in Christ's name is to bear 
rule in the kingdom of Christ. Thus ye may see, that Christ's 
kingdom is altogether spiritual ; and the bearing of rule in it 
is clean contrary unto the bearing of rule temporally. Where- 
fore none that beareth rule in it may have any temporal 
jurisdiction, or minister any temporal office that requireth 
violence to compel withal. 

Peter was not greater than the other apostles by any authority given 
liim of Christ. 

They say that Peter was chief of the apostles : verily, as why Peter 

«' «' ^ _ ^ ^ \ was called 

Apelles was called chief of painters for his excellent cunning a*'j,fii°g"^® 

above other, even so Peter may be called chief of the apostles 

for his activity and boldness above the other. But that Peter Peter had no 

, authority 

had any authority or rule over his brethren and fellow apo- ^^°''„Vthe 
sties, is false, and contrary to the scripture. Christ forbade apo^t'es- 
it the last even^ before his passion, and in divers times before, 
and taught alway the contrary, as I have rehearsed. 

Thou wilt say, ' thou canst not see how there should be 
any good order in that kingdom, where none were better 
than other, and where the superior had not a law and au- 
thority to compel the inferior with violence.' The world, 
truly, can see no other way to rule than with violence : for 
there no man abstaineth from evil, but for fear ; because the 
love of righteousness is not written in their hearts. And The pope> 
therefore the pope's kingdom is of the^ world : for there one the'^worTd.'" 
sort are your grace, your holiness, your fatherhood : another, a rabbie of 

</ _ o ' t/ ' ,; 5 J the pope s 

my lord bishop, my lord abbot, my lord prior ; another, ^"aT'fii's'^*' 
master doctor, father, bachelor, master parson, master vicar, •'^'^^e- 
and at the last cometh in simple sir John^. And every man 
reigneth over other with might ; and have every ruler his 
prison, his jailor, his chains, his torments; even so much as 
the friars Observants observe that rule, and compel every 
man other with violence above the cruelness of the heathen 
tyrants : so that what cometh once in may never out, for fear 
of telling tales out of school. They rule over the body with 
violence, and compel it, whether the heart will or not, to ob- 
serve things of their own making. 

[3 That is, evening.] [4 g, and S. ed. this.] 

[5 See Vol. I. p. 277, n. 3.] 


omTkin'^-'^^ But in the kingdom of God it is contrary. For the Spirit 

reilTtgowrn that bringoth them thither maketh them wilHng, and giveth 

meeknei?'^' them lust unto the law of God ; and love compelleth them to 

patience, ^q^.].^ ^^^^ ^oye makcth every man's good, and all that he can 

do, common unto his neighbour's need. And as every man is 

strong in that kingdom, so love compelleth him to take the 

weak by the hand, and to help him, and to take him that 

cannot go upon his shoulders and bear him. And so to do 

service unto the weaker is to bear rule in that kingdom. 

oflpelking! ^^^ because Peter did exceed the other apostles in fervent 

g°nce^s'''" service toward his brethren, therefore is he called, not in the 

not m the* scripture, but in the use of speaking, the chiefest of the 

the chief apostlcs ; and not that he had any dominion over them. Of 

ues. which truth thou mayest see also the practice in the Acts of 

the apostles, after the resurrection. For when Peter had been 

and preached in the house of Cornelius, an heathen man, the 

other that were circumcised chode him, because he had been 

in an uncircumcised man's house, and had eaten with him : 

for it was forbidden in the law, neither wist they yet that 

Peter was the heathen should be called. And Peter was fain to give 

enforced to , , O 

iccount'to accounts uuto them (which is no token of superiority), and to 
of'h^Idoings- ^^^^ *^®™ ^°^ ^® ^^^ warned of the Holy Ghost so to do. 
Acuxv. And (Acts XV.) when a council was gathered of the apostles 

noprfoThfs and disciples about the circumcision of the heathen, Peter 
but the ^' brought forth, not his commandment and the authority of his 

mighty pow- , , *' 

erofGod. vicarsliip, but the miracle that the Holy Ghost had shewed 
for the heathen; how at the preaching of the gospel the 
Holy Ghost had hghted upon them, and purified their hearts 
through faith ; and therefore proved that they ought not to be 
uesMete°he ^^^ ^^"^ ^^^ Bamabas brought forth the miracles also, 
GodiTchr'ilt, t^^* ^^^ ^^^ shewed by them among the heathen through 
thority of' preaching of faith. And then James brought forth a prophecy 
their own. ^^ ^j^^ ^^^ Testament for the said part: and therewith the 
adversaries gave over their hold, and they concluded with one 
assent, by the authority of the scripture and of the Holy 
Ghost, that the heathen should not be circumcised ; and not 
by the commandment of Peter, under pain of cursing, ex- 
communication, and interdicting, and like bugs, to make fools 
and children afraid withal. 
Actsvui. And (Acts viii.) Peter was sent of the other apostles unto 


the Samaritans : which is an evident token that he had no Jenfb^The 
jurisdiction over them, (for then they could not have sent uertoT^ach 
him,) but rather (as the truth is,) that the congregation had '" ^^'"'"''^' 
authority over him, and over all other private persons, to 
admit them for ministers, and send them forth to preach, 
whithersoever the Spirit of God moved them, and as they 
saw occasion. 

And in the epistle unto the Galatians thou seest also how oai. a. 
Paul corrected Peter, when he walked not the straight^ way bukedPeter 

° «' to his face. 

alter the truth ot the gospel. 

So now thou seest that in the kingdom of Christ, and in scripture is 
his church or congregation, and in his councils, the ruler is onhe ai^s- 
the scripture, approved through the miracles of the Holy 
Ghost, and men be servants only; and Christ is the head, and 
we all brethren. And when we call men our heads, that we we give the 
do not because they be shorn or shaven, or because of their reverence, 

, . , notforthem- 

names, parson, vicar, bishop, pope ; but only because of the b^e^^'^^'g^of 
word which they preach. If they err from the word, then t^^tXetr 
may whomsoever God moveth his heart, play Paul, and correct '"'°^'"- 
him. If he will not obey the scripture, then have his brethren 
authority by the scripture to put him down, and to send him 
out of Christ's church among the heretics, which prefer their 
false doctrine above the true word of Christ. 

How the gospel punisheth trespassers, and how, by the gospel, wo 
ought to go to law with our adversaries. 

Though that they of Christ's congregation be all willing ; 
yet, because that the most part is alway weak, and because 
also that the occasions of the world be ever many and great, 
insomuch that Christ, which wist all thing before hand, saith, 
(Matt, xviii.) " Woe be unto the world by reason of occasions Matt, xviii. 
of evil :" and saith also, that it cannot be avoided but that 
occasions shall come, therefore it cannot be chosen but that 
many shall overfall ; when a weak brother hath trespassed, by 
what law shall he be punished? Verily, by the law of love; our brethren, 
whose properties thou readest in the thirteenth of the first to offend, m^ist 
the Corinthians. If the love of God, which is my profession, ^y love, and 
be written in mine heart, it will not let me hate my weak 

[1 So M. ed., but S. and S. ed. ricfht] 



brother when he hath offended me, no more than natural love 

will let a mother hate her child when it trespasseth against 

her. My weak brother hath offended me; he is fallen, his 

weakness hath overthrown him. It is not right by the law of 

love, that I should now fall upon him, and tread him down 

in the mire and destroy him utterly : but it is right by the 

law of love, that I run to him and help him up again. 

How we^ may By what process we should go to law with our tres- 

uesp^ers. passcrs, Christ teacheth us, Matth. xviii. Tell him his fault 

Matt.xviii. between him and thee with all meekness, remembering thou 

art a man, and mayest fall also : if he repent and thou love 

him, ye shall soon agree, and then forgive him. And when 

thou forgivest thy neighbour, then thou art sure that God 

forgiveth thee thy trespasses by his holy promise, (Matth. vi.) 

Matt.,,i. If he hear thee not, then take a neighbour or two. If he 

hear them not, then tell the congregation, where thou art: 

and let the preacher pronounce God's law against him, and 

let the sad and discreet men rebuke him, and exhort him 

Open and unto repentance. If he repent, and thou also love him 

fenders are to according to thv profossiou, ye shall soon agree. If he hear 

be rebuked ° •' ^. , i , • , i 

openly. not the congrcgatiou, then let him be taken as an heathen. 
If he that is offended be weak also, then let them that be 
strong go between, and help them. And in like manner, if 
any sin against the doctrine of Christ and the profession of a 
christian man, so that he be a drunkard and an whore-keeper, 
or whatsoever open sin he do, or if he teach false learning ; 
then let such be rebuked openly before the congregation, and 
by the authority of the scripture. And if they repent not, 
let them be put out of the congregation as heathen people. 
If they then be not ashamed, we have no remedy but 
patiently to abide what God will do ; and to pray in the 
meantime, that God will open their hearts, and give them re- 
pentance. Other law than this Christ's gospel knoweth not, 
nor the officers thereof. 

Thekingdom Jt ig manifest, therefore, that the kingdom of Christ is a 
spiritual kingdom, which no man can minister well, and a 
temporal kingdom too, as it is sufficiently proved ; because 
that no man which putteth his hand to the plough, and 
looketh back, is apt for the kingdom of heaven ; as Christ 
answered (Luke ix.) unto him that would have followed him, 



but would first have taken leave of his household. If a man 
put his hand to the plough of God's word to preach it, and 
look also unto worldly business, his plough will surely go awry. 
And therefore, saith Christ unto another, that would likewise Luke ix. 
follow him, but desired first to go and bury his father, " Let 
the dead bury the dead: but come thou and shew, or preach, 
the kingdom of God." As who should say, He that will preach 
the kingdom of God (which is Christ's gospel) truly, must 
have his heart nowhere else. 

What officers the apostles ordained in Christ's church ; and what their 
offices were to do. 

Wherefore the apostles, following and obeying the rule, officers first 
doctrine, and commandment of our Saviour Jesus Christ, their chrtst-s 

. church. 

master, ordamed m ms kmgdom and congregation two ofiicers; 

one called, after the Greek word, bishop, in English an over- bishop. 

seer : which same was called priest after the Greek, elder in 

English, because of his age, discretion, and sadness ; for he 

was, as nigh as could be, alway an elderly man : as thou seest 

both in the new and old Testament also, how the ofiicers of 

the Jews be called the elders of the people, because (as thou 

mayest well think) they were ever old men, as nigh as could 

be. For unto age do men naturally obey, and unto age 

doth God command to give honour, saying, (Lev. xix.) " Rise f g^°"'' ^^^ 

up before the hoar head, and reverence the face of the old ^^^- '''''• 

man." And also experience of things, and coldness, without in the aged 

which it is hard to rule well, is more in age than in youth. '^^"P"'^*"*- 

And this overseer did put his hands unto the plough of God's 

word, and fed Christ's flock, and tended them only, without 

looking unto any other business in the world. 

Another ofiicer they chose, and called him deacon after Deacon, 
the Greek, a minister in English, to minister the alms of the 
people unto the poor and needy. For in the congregation in the 
of Christ love maketh every man's gift and goods common cl"""ch they 

y o O chose deacons 

unto the necessity of his neighbour. Wherefore, the love of J° {^y"'*^^^ 
God being yet hot in the hearts of men, the rich that had the 
substance of this world's goods brought of their abundance 
great plenty unto the sustentation of the poor, and dehvered 
it unto the hands of the deacons. And unto the help of the widows. 
deacons were widows of sixty years old, holy, virtuous, and 
destitute of friends, chosen to tend and wait upon the sick, 


and to wash the saints' feet, that came from one congregation 

unto another, whether for any business, or for fear of perse- 

^om™°w T cution. And those common goods of the church, offered for 

The great the succour of the poor, grew in all churches so exceedingly, 

''riraulve ""^ ^^^^ ^" ^°™^ Congregation it was so much, that it was suffi- 

church. (,JQjj^ ^Q maintain an host of men ; insomuch that tyrants did 

oft-times persecute the Christen ^ for those common goods, as 

thou seest in the life of St Laurence, the deacon of Rome 2. 

ThecoveN And, morcover, the covetousness of the prelates was the 

ousness of ' ' ■» 

wfs'the*'^^ decay of Christendom, and the increasing of the kingdom of 
christe°ndom, Mahomet. For by the first springing of the empire of Ma- 
fncreaslngof homot, the empcrors, kings, and great lords of Christendom 
of Mahomet! had givcu their treasure so mightily unto the church, what 
after great victories, and what at their deaths, that their suc- 
cessors were not able to maintain battle against the Saracens 
and Turks, (for the world was not yet in such captivity that 
they could make their subjects swear on books what they 
were worth, and raise up taxes at their pleasure ;) so that a 
The proud Certain writer of stories saith : "The prelates gaped when 
the^ylpenT tho laymcn would take the war upon them against the Turks; 
of^the^poor! and the laymen looked when the prelates would lay out their 
money, to make the war withal, and not spend it in worse 
use, as the most part of them were wont to do ; spending the 
money that was gotten with alms and blood of martyrs upon 
goodly plate, and great vessels of gold and silver, without 
care of things to come, despising God, whom they worshipped 

[1 Cliristen is frequently used in the earliest editions of Tyndale, 
and in other old writers, for the plural of Christian, as men for plui-al 
of man. Hence Clu-istendom.] 

[2 The chui'ch of Rome has dedicated the 10th of August to the 
memory of Laui'ence, and the lessons for that day, in the breviary, give 
a florid account of his merits and martyrdom. It was in the year 258 
that a mandate from the emperor Valerian occasioned that persecution 
under which Sixtus II. bishop of Rome, was put to death ; and Platina 
says that Sixtus bade his attendant deacon Laurence make haste to 
distribute whatever might be in the church's treasury amongst the 
poor. Laurence was soon arrested, and the prefect of Rome required 
him to produce this treasure : upon which he produced the poor whom 
that treasure had fed, telling the prefect that the poor saints were the 
treasures of the Christian church. For this, the legend says, the pre- 
fect ordered him to be bound upon a red hot iron hurdle, and burnt 
over a fire. Platina, Vit. Pontificum, and Roman breviary.] 


for their belly's sake only, and also man^." Moreover, it was 
the custom even then, saith the author, to ask what the 
bishoprick was worth'*; yea, and to leave a worse for a better, 
or to keep both with a union. And at the same time Isacius, isadus. 
the deputy of the emperor, came to Rome to confirm the The election 
pope in his see with the emperors authority; for the election f^^'^^^'^gyj,, 
of the pope was then nothing worth, except it had been con- 
firmed by the emperor : and he found so great treasure in 
the church of St John Lateran, that for disdain which he had, 
that they should have such treasure in store, and not to help 
the emperor in his wars against the Turks, seeing his soldiers Note here 
lacked wages, he took it away with violence against the will that the 

® , '' . ° . . bishops of 

of the prelates, of which he exiled some, and paid his own ^°J"^?^\'^'^ *** 
men of war with one part, and took another part unto him- 
self, and sent the third part unto the emperor : which must 
needs have been a great treasure in one church*. 

By what means the prelates fell from Christ. 

The office of a bishop was a room, at the beginning, that ''i'r.^^'^'-P 
no man coveted ; and that no man durst take upon him, save eh!.reh"'was''i 
he only which loved Christ better than his own life. For as ^'le.""""^ 
Christ saith, that no man might be his disciple, except that 
he were ready to forsake life and all ; even so might that 
officer be sure that it would cost him his life at one time or 
another, for bearing record unto the truth. But after that 
the multitude of the Christen were increased, and many great 
men had received the faith ; then both lands and rents, as 

[3 The ' certain writer of stories' to whom Tyndale refers is Platina, 
De vitis pontificum, who says in his life of Boniface V. : Exspectant 
sacerdotes ut a secularibus hoc tantum bellum et tarn necessarium 
sumatur. Exspectant item seculares ut presbyteri tuendee religionis 
causa [against Mahometan invaders] pecunias in sumptus bellicos pol- 
liceantur et sumministrent ; nee in pejores usus effundant, quemad- 
modum facere plerique consuevere, pecunias eleemosynis et sanguine 
martyrum comparatas, in aurea et argentea vasa et prsegrandia quidem 
pendentes, parum de futuro solliciti, Dei, quern tantum utilitatis gratia 
colunt, et hominum contemptores.] 

[4 Quseritur enim quantum reddat episcopatus; non quot oves 
pascuse in eo sint. — Id. Vit. Bonifacii III. Date about 606.] 

[5 This last sentence is nearly a translation of what Platina relates, 
in the beginning of his account of Severinus, pope for but a few months 
of A.D. 640 Plat. Vit. Honorii.J 


well as other goods, were given unto the maintenance, as well 
At the first of tlio clergy, as of the poor : because the j gave then no 
church there ^^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ pricsts, uor jet now do, save in certain countries. 
mhls"piidto ^or it is too much to give alms, offerings, lands, and tithes 
the ministers, g^jg^^ ^^^ ^Yieu the bishops made them substitutes under 

them to help them, which they called priests, and kept the 

name of bishop unto themselves ^ 
All cor- But out of the deacons sprang all the mischief: for 

the church throuffh their hands went all things ; they ministered unto 

came first O O ' ./ ^ 

deaconf ^ the clergj, they ministered unto the poor, they were m favour 
with great and small. And when the bishop's office began to 
have rest, and to be honourable, then the deacons, through 
Money pur- favour and gifts, clamb^ up thereunto; as lightly^ he that hath 
fe^ent!'^ the old abbot's treasure succeedeth with us. And by the 
means of their practice and acquaintance in the world they 
were more subtle and worldly wise than the old bishops, and 
less learned in God's word ; as our prelates are, when they 
come from stewardships in gentlemen's houses, and from sur- 
veying of great men's lands, lords' secrets, kings' councils, 
ambassadorship, from war and ministering all worldly matters, 
yea, worldly mischief. And yet now they come not thence, 
The prelates but roccive all, and bide there still ; yea, they have enacted 
sti"fin'the by plain* parliament that they must bide in the court still, or 

court. W. T. •' ^ -^ '' 

[1 Tyndale seems to have held an opinion afterwards maintained by 
Dr Hammond, and thus noticed by Bingham : " The learned Dr Ham- 
mond advances an opinion about this matter" [the original of pres- 
byters], " which is something singular. He asserts (Annot. on Acts xi. 
30) that in scriptm-e-times the name of presbyters belonged principally, 
if not alone, to bishops ; and that there is no evidence that any of this 
second order were then instituted, though soon after, he thinks, before 
the writing of Ignatius' epistles, there were such instituted in all 
churches. The authorities he builds upon are Clemens Romanus and 
Epiphanius, who say that in some churches, at first, there were bishops 
and deacons without any presbyters." Bing. Orig. Eccles. B. ii. ch. xix. 
§ 3, Vol. I. p. 252, ed. 1840.] 

[2 Clamb : climbed. The reading of Day's edition is cUmed.] 

[3 Easily; and hence, ordinarily.] 

[4 The word is spelt playne in the black letter editions. Tyndale 
probably meant to give a version of the old law phrase, Pleno parlia- 
mento, used to signify the indisputable authority of a legislative enact- 
ment ; and had in view an act for 'Abridging spiritual persons from 
having pluralities of livings.' It was an act which had just passed 
through parliament, and its 28th clause was to the effect he has stated; 


else they may not have plurality of benefices. And then by 
little and little they enhanced themselves, and turned all to 
themselves, minishing the poor people's part, and increasing 
theirs, and joining acquaintance with great men, and with 
their power clamb up, and entitled them to the choosing and 
confirming of the pope and all bishops^ to flatter and pur- now the 
chase favour and defenders; trusting more unto their worldly ^jvj'^'j^^'g'^"'^ 
wisdom than unto the doctrine of Christ, which is the wisdom vanced'thein- 
of God, and unto the defence of man than of God. Then, ^'^'^"' 
while they that had the plough by the tail looked back, the 
plough went awry ; faith waxed feeble and fainty ; love 
waxed cold ; the scripture waxed dark ; Christ was no more 
seen. He was in the mount with Moses; and therefore the when the 
bishops would have a god upon the earth whom they might waxed rich, 
see, and thereupon they began to dispute who should be ^,^oP",'fbe'^'^° 
greatest. '^"^^^"■^ 

How the bishop of Rome became greater than other, and called 
himself pope. 

Then, quoth worldly wisdom, Jerusalem must be the Jerusalem 

„ ^, . „ . was the first 

greatest, for that was Christ's seat : £Jt factum est : so it ^^,^^^,",^0 
came to pass for a season. And in conclusion, where a great 
city was, and much riches, there was the bishop ever greater 
than his fellows. Alexandria^ in Egypt, and Antioch in Greece, 
were greater than their neighbours. Then, those decaying, 
Constantinople and Rome waxed great, and strove who should ^"pf**"''" 
be greater. And Constantinople said. Where the emperor is, ^"™''- 
there ought to be the greatest seat and chiefest bishop : for 
the emperor lay most at Constantinople, because it was ([ 
suppose) nigh the midst of the empire ; therefore I must be 
the greatest, said the bishop of Constantinople. Nay, quoth 
the bishop of Rome, though the emperor lie never so much How Rome 
at Constantinople, yet he is called emperor of Rome, and the chietest 

for it provided that ' The act should not in any wise extend, nor be 
prejudicial to any such chaplains as shall be daily or quarterly at- 
tending and abiding in the king's or queen's honourable households,' 
and in like manner for the chaplains of nobles, &c. — 21 Hen. VIH. 
c. 13, § 28.] 

[5 He is here giving a sketch of the institution of cardinal presbyters 
and of their progress to power. — See Bingham, B. ii. c. 19, ^S 18.] 

[6 Alexandre in the M. ed. and in Day; but Alexander in the S. S. 



Borne the Rome is the head of the empire; wherefore of right I must 
mother of all be the father of all whatsoever ^ And thus, whether they 

wickedness. "^ 

challenged their title by the authority of God or man, or by 
Peter or pouling^, it was all one, so they might be greatest. 

And great intercession was made unto the emperors of 
both parties ; but in vain a great season : for the emperors 
stopped their ears at such ambitious requests long time ; till 

Phocas. at i^bg last there came an emperor called Phocas, which lay 
long in Italy, and was a very soft man, and a prey for pre- 

PopeJBoni- latcs : iu whose time Boniface III. was bishop of Rome, a 

lace the ^ 

third. w.T, man ambitious and greedy upon honour, and of a very subtle 

wit, nothing inferior unto Thomas Wolfsee^, cardinal of York. 

This Boniface was great with the emperor Phocas, and with 

his wily persuasions and great intercession together obtained 

Phocas the of Phocas to be called the chiefest of all bishops, and that his 

gavepri- church should be the chief church*: which authority as 

vilege to the ^ _ _ ■/ 

RomJ'tote ^°°^ ^^ ^^ ^^^ purchased, he sent immediately his command- 
bishop.^^ ment, with the emperor's power, unto all the bishops of 
Almany, commanding that every bishop should call all the 
priests of his diocese, and charge them that every man should 
The chastity put away his wife, under pain of excommunication; which 
how Ifcame tyranny, though great resistance was made against it, he yet 

up. W. T. '' •' ° ® ° . 

brought to pass with the emperor's sword and his own 
subtilty together ^ For the bishops were rich, and durst not 
displease the pope, for fear of the emperor. 

[1 This word has been printed waten in modern editions. In the 
black letter copies it is wate, an abbreviation of whatsoever, still em- 
ployed by lawyers. When a pope is crowned, the cardinal deacon puts 
the tiara, or regno, as it is called, upon his head, and says to him, 
Accipe tiaram, tribus coronis ornatam ; et scias te esse patrem prin- 
cipum et regum, rectorem orbis.] 

[2 To poll, or levy a tax, is spelt in the original edition poule, and 
the name of the apostle is also spelt poul, though not uniformly. The 
word pouling may therefore either mean here taxing, or assuming the 
authority of a Paul, with reference to Peter just mentioned.] 

[3 So the two oldest editions ; Day, Wolsee.] 

[^ So Platina of Boniface III. : Patria Romanus, a Phoca impcra- 
tore obtinuit, magna tamen contentione, ut sedes B. Petri Apostoli, 
quae caput est omnium ecclesiarum, ita et diceretur et haberetur ab 

[5 There seems to be some confusion here of times and persons. 
Boniface HI. died in 606, before he had been pope nine months; when 
the empei'or had no authority in Germany, neither were there any 


As soon as Nemroth, that min;hty hunter, had cauffht Note here 

•~ . "^ 9 Ihe climbing 

this prey, that he had compelled all bishops to be under him, "p"^'^^ 
and to swear obedience unto him, then he began to be great 
in the earth; and called himself Papa^, with this interpretation, 
Father of fathers. And when the pope had exalted his throne 
above his fellows, then the unity that ought to be among 
brethren in Christ's church brake ; and division began between Division in 

° the church. 

us and the Greeks ; which Greeks (I suppose) were at that w. t. 
time the one half of Christendom. And when any pope since 
exhorteth them to unity, they answer, ' That he which will 
reign over his brethren with violence, breaketh unity, and 
not they ; and that they will not be under his tyranny, The Greeks 
whereunto he calleth them under a colour of unity.' And "nfierthe 

''^ pope s 

from henceforth, with the help of his bishops, which were tyranny- 
sworn to be true liegemen unto him, when beforetime they 
were admitted to their bishopricks of the emperors and kings, 
he began to lay a bait to catch the whole empire into his 
hands also. 

By what means the pope invaded the empire. 
At that same season Mahomet, the author of the sect of Mahomet 

and the pope 

the Turks and Saracens, began. And as soon as he had got ^e^^" ^^^'^ 
much people unto him with wiles and feigned miracles, he 

regularly constituted churches in that country. But in 723, pope 
Gregory II. gave the name of Boniface to the Anglo-Saxon monk, 
Winfrid, for his good deeds in planting chui'ches in parts of Germany 
near the Rhine, and desired the Frank ruler, Charles Martel, and all 
persons in authoi'ity to attend to the injunctions of this Boniface, who 
used the influence thus obtained to elevate the papal authority. Hence 
some of his dicta were incorporated into the canon law (see Vol. i. 
p. 328, n. 3), and some of these may have been so quoted as not to 
distinguish their author from pope Boniface III. — See Hist, des papes, 
a la Haye, 1733, Tom. i. pp. 518—50. Also Mosheim, Cent. viii. par. 
1, cap. I. § 2 — 4; and Lingard, Antiq. of Anglo-Saxon Ch., pp. 445 — 53, 
2nd edition.] 

[6 The word papa was in like use among the Greeks as with us. 
The earliest known instance of its application to a christian minister 
occurs in TertuUian, De pudicitia, a treatise composed early in the 
third century. By the middle of that century it was become common 
to address bishops by this endearing name ; but at what period the 
bishops of Rome began to assume it as exclusively their own, cannot be 
stated with precision. — Bp. Kaye on TertuUian, ch. iv. p. 241 : and 
Bing. Orig. Eccles. B. ii. ch. ii. §7.] 




Gregory the 
pope came 
up by tlie 

invaded the empire of Rome in those quarters. And look, 
how busy Mahomet was in those parts, so busy was the pope 
in these quarters, to invade the empire, (with the help of his 
sworn bishops, which preached all of none other God than the 
pope,) while the emperor was occupied afar off in resisting 
of Mahomet. 

And within few years after, when the kings of Italy now 
and then vexed our holy fathers for their covetous ambition, 
then Gregory III. joined amity with the Frenchmen, and 
called them to help'; by whose power they gat all they have, 
heconumfeth ^^^ ^^^^ maintain it unto this day. For if any man, since 
starw?T. that time hither 2, displeased the pope never so little, he 
immediately cursed him, and excommunicated him, and pro- 
claimed him no right inheritor, and that it was not lawful to 
hold of him, and absolved his lords and subjects of their 
allegiance, and sent his blessing unto the French king and 
remission of sins to go and conquer his land ; the pope and 
French king alway dividing the spoil between them : the 
bishops, and all that served God for the belly, preaching the 
pope's might, how that he had power so to do, and all things 
to bind and loose at his will ; wresting the scriptures to serve 
for their purpose, corrupting all the laws, both of God and 
man, to prove his godhead withal. 

Then came pope Zacharias the first, in whose time Ilil- 
dericus^ was king of France, a man that governed his realm 
(as it oft chanceth) by a deputy (as parsons'* preach), one 
Pipine, a lord of his own, and his sworn subject. This Pipine 
sent a holy bishop to pope Zacharias, that he should help to 
make him king of France, and he would be his defender in 
Italy (as the manner of scalled horses is, the one to claw the 

[1 The French chronologist, president Hainault, confirms Tyndale's 
statement, under the date of 740, in the following words: "Gregory III. 
made more advantageous proposals to Charles Martel, when troubled 
by the king of the Lombards ; to wit, that he would cease to recognise 
the [Greek] emperoi-'s authority, and would proclaim Charles the consul 
of Rome. Here we have the real epoch of the temporal power of the 

[2 That is, from that time to the date of Tyndale's writing.] 

[3 So Marb., but S. and S. ed. Huldericus. In French history ho 
is styled Childeric III., and began to reign in 742.] 

[4 So S. and S. ed. By the person, or parson of the parish was 
meant the rector; the vicar was his deputy.] 

Pope Za- 
charias the 


made a 
monk. W.T. 


other); and Zacharlas answered, that he was more worthy to Thepoijeput 

be king, that ruled the realm and took the labours, than an Jltil^'/^^f^l'^J^t 

idle shadow that went up and down, and did nought. And so "»' ^'^'i""- 

upon that, the lords of France, by the persuasions of the 

prelates, consented unto Pipine, and thrust down their right 

king unto whom they were sworn, and made a monk of him ; The king of 

and both the lords, and also Pipine, took dispensations for i/'""""''~" 

their oaths of our holy father, and were forsworn^. Thus 

was our holy father, the pope, crept up into the consciences 

of men with his false interpretation of binding and loosing, 

good eight hundred years agone^. 

Then came pope Stephanus the second, out of whose Jl;;';'^^^^^';^^ 
hands Estulphus, king of Lombardy, would fain have scratched Estuiphus, 
somewhat ; for he thought that the holy fathers gathered too baray° 
fast, and had already raked too much unto them. But the 
new king, Pipine of France, warned of his duty and service 
promised, and mindful of old friendship, and hoping for part 
of the prey, came to succour the pope : and when he had how the 
subdued the king of Lombardy, he gave unto our holy father, advanced. 
or rather to St Peter, that hungry beggar, great provinces 
and countries in Lombardy and in Italy, with the isle Corsica, 
and many great cities, of which some pertained unto the 
emperor, being then at Constantinople ; and yet the emperor 
had sent before unto king Pipine, that he should not give of 
his towns unto the pope. But Pipine answered that he came 
for the same intent, and to enhance our holy father. And 
our holy father received them^. 

And thus the empire was divided into two parts ; the pope 
and the French king parting the one half between them. 
And as the emperor decayed, the pope grew. And as the 

[5 The history of this transaction is incorporated into the papal 
law, where Decret. pars. 2'^'* can. xv. q. 6, cap. 3, is as follows. Pon- 
tificalis auctoritas a juramento fidelitatis nonnuUos absolvit. Ahus 
item Romanus pontifex, Zacharias scilicet, regem Francorum, non 
tam pro suis iniquitatibus quam pro eo quod tantse potostati erat in 
utilis, a regno deposuit, et Pipinum Caroli Magni imperatoris patrera 
in ejus locum suhstituit; omnesque Francigenas a jm'amento fidelitatis 
absolvit. — Coi-p. Jur. canonici. Th. Kerver, 1516.] 

[0 The date of this transaction was about 751.] 

[7 Platina has not mentioned Corsica as part of Pepin's gift to 
Stephen in his life of that pope ; but he mentions it as included in 
that gift, when relating the life of Adrian I.] 


By what ^ pope grew, so the sect of Mahomet grew ; for the emperor 

Treat^'""' (^^^^ ^^^ empire lost) was not able to defend himself against 

^- ^- the infidels. And the pope would suffer no help hence to 

come, for two causes ; one, lest the emperor should recover 

his empire again ; and another, because the prelates of the 

Greeks would not submit themselves unto his godhead, as the 

prelates of these quarters of the world had done. 

caroius. After Pipine reissued his son the great Charles, whom we 

Maffnus. i- o o ^ 

call Charlemagne, which knew no other god but the pope, nor 
any other way to heaven than to do the pope pleasure. For 
the pope served him for two purposes : one, to dispense with 
him for whatsoever mischief he did ; another, to be established 
in the empire by his help : for without his favour he wist it 
The pope would uot be; so great a god was our holy father become 

become a ' o o «/ 

thfe'J°h°" ah-eady m those days. 

This pope Stephen^ in his latter days fell at variance 

Desiderius. with Desiderius, king of Lombardy about the archbishop of 

^°p^^^drian After Stephen succeeded Adrian the first; with whom 

Desiderius, the king of Lombardy, would fain have made 
peace, but pope Adrian would not. And shortly upon that, 
the brother of this Charlemagne, which reigned with him in 
half the dominion of France, died ; whose wife, for fear of 
Charles, fled with her two sons unto Desiderius, king of Lom- 
bardy for succour. Desiderius was glad of their coming, 
trusting by the means of these two children to obtain favour 
among many of the Frenchmen, and so to be able to resist 
Charles, if he would meddle, and to bring Italy unto the right 
emperor again, and would have had that pope Adrian should 
have anointed them kings in their father's room. But Adrian 
refused that to do, (for he saw Charles mighty and meet for 

The pope his purposo,) and was as wily as Desiderius ; and thought to 

be emperor koop out the right omperor, and be emperor of Rome himself, 
though he gave another the name for a season, till a more 
convenient time came. 

Then Desiderius warred upon the pope's jurisdiction ; 
and Adrian sent to Charles : and Charles came with his 

[1 By the expression tins Stephen, Tyndale has marked, though 
obscurely, that the Stephen of Charlemagne's clays is not the same 
pope as the Stephen whom Pepin assisted. Stephen III. became 
pope in 768, and was succeeded by Adrian I. in 772.J 


army, and drave out Desiderius and his son; which son fled chariesand 
unto the right emperor to Constantinople. And Charles and dlviSerthe 
the pope divided the kingdom of Lombardy between them : LombaJdy. 
and Charles came to Rome ; and the pope and he were 
sworn together, that whosoever should be enemy unto the one, 
should be enemy also unto the other 2. 

This Adrian gathered a council immediately of an hundred The pope 
and fifty-three bishops, abbots, and religious persons, and '^"""'^''' and 

'' ^ _^ . gave uuto 

gave unto Charles and his successors the empire of Rome ; em^^//e*of ® 
and ordained that the right and power to choose the pope ^°"'*' 
should be his, and that no bishop should be consecrate till he 
had obtained of him both consent and the ornaments of a 
bishop also, (which they now buy of the pope,) under pain of 
cursing, and to be delivered unto black Satan the devil, and 
loss of goods. (Dist. Ixiii.^) 

And Leo the third, which succeeded Adrian, confirmed the Leothethird, 


same ; and crowned Charles emperor of Rome for like service 
done unto him. And then there was appointment made be- ^mTreThe"'^ 
tween the emperors of Constantinople and of Rome, and the T^Sf'"'"'^ 
places assigned, how far the borders of either empire should 
reach. And thus of one empire was made twain; and 
therefore the empire of Constantinople, for lack of help, was 
shortly after subdued of the Turks. 

The said Leo also called Charles " The most christian Most christ- 
king*," because of his good service; which title the kings ofw. x. 

[2 This was a.d. 774.] 

[3 The heading of Dist. Ixiii. is, "Laici nullo modo se debent inse- 
rere electioni" [pontiflcum] ; and its first canon begins, NuUus laicorum 
principum vel potentum semet inserat electioni aut promotioni patvi- 
archse, metropolitani, aut cujuslibet episcopi. But its ca. xxii. is headed, 
"Imperator jus habet eligendi pontificem ;" and the text of that canon 
is as follows : Adrianus papa Romam venire Karolum regem ad defen- 
dendas res ecclesise postulavit . . . Romam reversus [Karolus] constituit 
ibi synodum cum Adriano papa in patriarchatu lateranensi, in ecclesia 
S** Salvatoris; quae synodus celebrata est cliii. episcopis, religiosis, et 
abbatibus. Adrianus autem papa cum universa synodo tradiderunt 
Karolo jus et potestatem eligendi pontificem, et ordinandi apostolicam 
sedem, dignitatem quoque patriciatus ei concesserat. Insuper archie- 
piscopos et episcopos per singulas provincias ab eo investituram accipere 
diffinivit ; ut, nisi a rege laudetur et investiatur, episcopus a nemine 
consecretur; et quicunque contra hoc decretum ageret anathematis 
vinculo eum innodavit. — Corp. Jur. Canon Decret. par. l™**.] 

[4 In the inscription on his tomb, "Magni Caroli Regis Chris- 
tianissimi Romanorumque Imperatoris." Platin. in Vit. Leon, in.] 



Pefemler of 
tlie faith. 
W. T. 
The eldest 
son ot the 
holv seat. 

Who is a 

The life of 
W. T. 

Charles com- 
pelled all 
men to the 
obedience of 
the pope. 

The pope is 
a di-penser 
iind breaker 
of ihe bonds 
of inatri- 

Charles a 
filthy uhore- 

France use unto this day, though many of them be never so 
unchristened : as the last Leo called our king " The defender 
of the faith ;" and as this ' pope Clemens calleth the duke of 
Guelder " The eldest son of the holy see of Rome," for no 
other virtue nor property that any man can know, save that 
he hath been all his life a pick-quarrel and a cruel and un- 
righteous bloodshedder, as his father, that sitteth in that holy 
see, is. So now, above seven hundred years, to be a christian 
king is to fight for the pope ; and most christian, that most 
fighteth, and slayeth most men for his pleasure. 

This Charles was a great conqueror ; that is to say, a 
great tyrant, and overcame many nations with the sword : 
as the Turk compelleth us unto his faith, so he compelled 
them with violence unto the faith of Christ, say the stories. 
But, alas ! Christ's faith, whereunto the Holy Ghost only 
draweth men's hearts through preaching the word of truth, 
and holy living according thereto, he knew not ; but unto the 
pope he subdued them, and unto this superstitious idolatry 
which we use clean contrary unto the scripture. 

Moreover, at the request and great desire of his mother, 
he married the daughter of Desiderius, king of Lombardy ; 
but after one year, unto the great displeasure of his mother, he 
put her away again ; but not without the false subtilty of the 
pope, thou mayest be sure, neither without his dispensation. 
For how could Charles have made war for the pope's pleasure 
with Desiderius her father, and have thrust him out of his 
kingdom, and banished his son for ever, dividing his king- 
dom between him and the pope, as long as she had been his 
wife ? And therefore the pope, with his authority of binding 
and loosing, loosed the bonds of that matrimony (as he hath 
many other since, and daily doth for like purposes), to the 
intent that he would with the sword of the French king put 
the kingdom of Lombardy, that was somewhat too nigh him, 
out of the way ; by the reason of whose kings his fatherhood 
could not reign alone, nor assign or sell the bishopricks of 
Italy to whom he lusted, and at his pleasure, 

lie kept also four concubines, and lay with two of his own 
daughters thereto. And though he wist how that it was not 
unknown, yet, his lusts being greater than great Charles, he 
would not wete, nor yet refrain. 

the pope at the time of Tyndale's wrkiug.] 


And beyond all that, the saying is, that in his old age a 
whore had so bewitched him with a ring and a pearl in it, 
and I wot not what imagery graven therein, that he went a 
salt after her as a dog after a bitch, and the dotehead was 
beside himself, and whole out of his mind : insomuch that 
when the whore was dead, he could not depart from the dead 
corpse, but caused it to be embalmed, and to be carried with charies hath 
him whithersoever he went, so that all the world wondered at carrkcTwith 
him ; till at the last his lords accombered with carrying her 
from place to place, and ashamed that so old a man, so ^reat Tim was an 

'■ ^ ... ' O emperor for 

an emperor, and such a most christian king, on whom and ^'j^n'^Xuth 
whose deeds every man's eyes were set, should dote on a dead 
whore, took counsel what should be the cause : and it was 
concluded that it must needs be by enchantment. Then they 
went unto the coffin, and opened it, and sought and found 
this ring on her finger ; which one of the lords took off, and 
put it on his own finger. When the ring was off, he com- 
manded to bury her, regarding her no longer. Nevertheless, 
he cast a fantasy unto this lord, and began to dote as fast ^m,°eron 
on him, so that he might never be out of sight ; but where 
our Charles was, there must that lord also be ; and what 
Charles did, that must he be privy unto : until that this lord, 
perceiving that it came because of this enchanted ring, for 
very pain and tediousness took and cast it into a well at 
Acon^, in Dutchland. And after that the ring was in the 
well, the emperor could never depart from the town ; but in 
the said place where the ring was cast, though it were a foul 
morass, yet he built a goodly monastery in the worship of our 
lady, and thither brought relics from whence he could get 
them, and pardons to sanctify the place, and to make it more 
haunted 2. And there he lieth, and is a saint, as right is: The pope 

~ made this 

for he did for Christ's vicar as much as the great Turk for '^j^'^fg™" a 
Mahomet ; but to save his holiness, that he might be canon- ^^'"'■ 
ized for a saint, they feign in his life, that his abiding there so 
continually was for the hot-baths' sakes which be there. 

After Charlemagne Lewis the mild* was emperor, which Lewis the 

[2 Aix la Chapelle.j 

[3 Neither Eginhart, nor Aimon, nor their annotators, nor Gibbon, 
nor Gaillard have taken any notice of the existence of the above wild 

[■1 Louis le Debonnaire.] 

out the assent 
of the em 



was a very patient man, (another Phocas, and another prey 
for the pope,) and so meek and soft, that scarcely he could be 
angry at any thing at all. When our holy fathers had seen 
his water, and spied what complexion he was, they chose 

Popestephen Stephen, the fourth of that name, pope, without his knowledge, 
and bade him neither good morrow, nor good even, nor once 
God speed about the matter, against their own grant unto his 

The pope father for his good service. And his softness was yet some- 

p^M■tf'li .ind ... 

t^-^j what displeased therewith, inasmuch as the election of the 
pope pertained unto his right. But the pope sent ambassadors, 
and wrote all the excuses that he could, and came after him- 
self to France to him, and peaced him, and crowned him there 
emperor, and passed the time a season with him, and they 
became very familiar together. 
Pope Pas- After that they chose Paschalis pope, of the same manner ; 

which PaschaUs sent immediately legates unto the emperor 
soft Lewis, excusing himself, and saying that it was not 
his fault, but that the clergy and the common people had 
drawn him thereto with violence against his will. Then the 
The pope, emperor was content for that once, and bade they should no 
abused the more do so, but that the old ordinance ought to be kept. The 

emperor. '-' '■ 

softness of this Lewis did him much care : for he was after 

prisoned of his own son, with help of pope Gregory the fourth. 

The pope After this man's days the popes never regarded the 

settethnotby . j r l & 

the emperor, empcrors, nor did the clergy of Pome sue any more to the 
emperor, either for the election or confirmation of the pope. 
Moreover, after this Lewis, there was never emperor in 
Christendom of any power, or able of his own might to cor- 
rect any pope ; neither was there any king that could correct 
the outrageous vices of the spiritualty of his own realm after 
this time. For this Lewis left three sons, among which he 
divided the realm of France and all Dutchland^- which same, 
for pride and disdain that one should have more than another, 
fell together (as we say) by the ears, each destroying other's 
power, so that France was afterward of no might to do any 
AiOTe. great thing. And then the pope reigned in Italy alone, 
Pope Niche- without care of any emperor: insomuch that Nicholas the 

las the first. ^ , , , , • , , , , 

first decreed that no secular prmce or emperor should have 
aught to do, or be at the councils of the clergy ^. 

[1 That is, Germany.] 

[2 Approbante Ludovico imperatore instituit [Nicolaus], Ne prin- 


And after that Adrian the second was chosen pope ; the Pope Adrian 
emperor's deputy being in Rome, and not once spoken to of 
the matter. And when the emperor's ambassadors disdained, 
they answered, 'Who can resist the rage of the people?' and 
prayed them to be content, and to salute him as pope 3. And 
Adrian the third decreed that they should not abide or tarry ^"p^^j^^"^" 
for the emperor's confirmation or authority in choosing the 
pope*, and that the pope only should call a general council, 
and not the emperor ; or, if the emperor would presume that 
to do, the council should be of none effect, though all the 
prelates of Christendom were there, and though whatsoever 
they did were but God's word. So mighty was the beast 
now waxed, when he once began to reign alone. And from ^hlVop'e^and^ 
this time hitherto^ perished the power of the emperors and Impfronie^ 
the virtue of the popes, saith Platina, in the hfe of popes^. then^ '"*'"'■ 
For since that time, as there was none emperor of might, so 
■was there no pope of any virtue. 

After this Lewis, the empire of France and of all Dutch- 
land was divided between his three sons ; which, as I said, 
fought one with another, and destroyed the strength of the 
empire of France. And from that time to this, which is 
above seven hundred years, thou shalt read of few popes that The popes 
have not led their lives in bloodshedding ; insomuch that if only biood- 
thou consider the stories well, thou shalt easily perceive that humfrer^" 
there hath been slain about their cause far above forty ^'e^rs. w. x. 
hundred thousand men; beside that there hath been but few 
princes in Christendom that hath not been busied and cum- ah christ- 

,, p ^ • T n I ^ ' • ^ endora hath 

bered, a great part ot his lite, about their matter ; either beeiuroubud 

. . . . . 1 . with the 

in wars begun at their setting on ; either in ceasing schisms popes causes. 
or division that hath been among the clergy, who should be 

ceps ullus secularis aut iraperator conciliis clericorum interesse auderet, 
nisi de fide ageretur: licere turn ac par esse censuit. — Platina. D. V. 

[3 So Platina, a.d, 867 — 8.] 

[4 Hadrianus III. tanti animi fuit, ut initio pontificatus sui statim 
ad senatum populumque retulerit ne in creando pontifice imperatoris 
auctoritas exspectaretur. — Platina relating this gives the date 895 ; but 
other chronologists assign the brief popedom of Adrian III. to 884.] 

[5 S. and S. ed. hitherward.] 

[6 Nescio quo fato accidisse dicam, ut una cum industria impera- 
torum simul etiam pontificum virtus et integritas defecerit. — Plat. 
D. V. Pont, in vita Formosi. a.d. 891 — 6.] 


pope ; or striving of bishops, who should be greatest, as 
between the bishop of York and Canterbury in England, and 
between the bishops of England and Wales, whereof all the 
chronicles be full ; or in reforming friars or monks, or in 
slaying them that uttered their false hypocrisy with God's 

When the emperor was down, and no man in Christendom 
of any power to be feared, then every nation fell upon other, 
and all lands were at variance between themselves. And then, 
as the Danes came into England, and vexed the Englishmen, 
and dwelt there in spite of their hearts ; even so came strange 
nations whose names were scarce heard of before in these 
Vandals. Quartcrs, (as the Vandals, Huns, and Goths,) and ran throuoh- 

Huns. . 

Goths. out all Christendom by hundred thousands together, and sub- 
dued the lands and dwelt therein maugre the inhabiters; as 
thou may est see in Dutchland, how divers nations are inclosed 
in the midst of the land, of a strange tongue which do Dutch- 
men understand ; and that rule continued well eight or nine 

The spiritual- score, or two hundred years. And in all this season, whoso- 

ty clave to ,.,.., • i i i • 

him that gat evcr wou the mastery, him the spiritualty received, and him 

the victory, «' r J ' 

sorvwhe'"^ they crowned king, and to him they clave. And whatsoever 

"^^^ any tyrant had robbed all his life, that, or the most part 

thereof, must he deal among them at his death, for fear of 

Building of purgatory. The spiritualty all that season preached the pope 

shriaingof mightily, built abbies for recreation and quietness, shrining 

them alway for saints which purchased them privileges, or 

fought for their hberties, or disputed for the pope's power, 

howsoever they lived, (but after fifty years, when their lives 

were forgotten;) and if any resisted them, whatsoever mischiefs^ 

they went about, him they noted in the chronicles as a cruel 

tyrant : yea, and whatsoever misfortune chanced any of his 

posterity after him, that they noted also, as though God had 

plagued them, because their forefather was disobedient unto 

holy church ; and ever put the stories that uttered their 

This was the wickoduess out of the way ; and gathered relics from whence 

false pro- they could get them, and feigned miracles, and gave them- 

phetsdid "^ ^ ' » , . ° 

church*^ selves only unto poetry , and shut up the scripture: so that 
Matt. xxiv. this was the very time of which Christ speaketh, Matt. xxiv. 

[1 The two oldest editions have miscJiieven.] 
[2 Tyndale uses this word ironically for fiction.] 


in which false prophets should arise, and shew miracles and 
wonders, to deceive the very elect, if it had been possible. 

Finally, in this busy world, the kings of Lombardy gat 
a little might, and came up again, and were divers times 
emperors, though of no great might. And one Beringarius, Beringarius. 
king of Lombardy, began to meddle with our holy father's 
business. Wherefore the pope fled unto Otho king of the O'^^o- 
Saxons, which by that time had gotten might, and brought 
him into Italy against Beringarium ; which Otho overcame 
Beringarium, and was made emperor for his labour, and thus 
came the empire first unto Dutchland^. 

And Otho received the empire of one pope John (say Pope John 
they) with this oath: "I Otho do promise and swear unto the The oath of 
lord John, by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and made to the 
by this wood of the cross that maketh living*, and by these 
relics of saints, that if I come to Eome, with God's help I will 
exalt the holy church of Rome, and thee^ the governor of the 
same unto my power. Neither shalt thou lose life nor mem- 
bers, or that honour that thou hast, by my will, counsel, 
consent, or setting awork. Moreover, I will make in Rome 
no constitution or ordinance, of an;y thing that pertaineth unto 
thee, or unto the Romans, without thy counsel. And whatso- Notehere 

•Z the dissimu- 

ever of the lands of St Peter comcth unto our hands, I will 'fope"i?/ca^?- 
deliver it thee. And unto whosoever I shall commit the rule s"|ns'st p^^ 
of Italy, I will make him swear that he shall help thee to 1!^^^^^^' 
defend the lands of St Peter unto his power." 

And Gregory the fifth (when they had got at the last Popecregory 
that which they long gaped for) made this ordinance of 
choosing the emperor, to stablish it withal : that six lords of 

[3 The events of this paragraph are told in Platina of the popedom 
of Agapete II., but it is in relating the history of his successor John XII., 
that he says, Translato turn primum ad Germanos imperio; of which 
however he confesses that some refer this transaction to the popedom 
of Leo VIII. Hence Tyndale's expression of uncertainty thei/ say, in 
the next sentence. Agapete II. became pope in 946 ; Leo, 18 years 

[4 Tyndale is here translating the words, vivijicce crucis. This oath 
is incorporated into the canon law, where it forms ca. 33. of Dist. Ixiii, 
Decret. pars !""•.] 

[5 Thee is wanting in D., but given in the two older editions, and 
found in the Latin canon.] 



Almany, three of the spiritualty, and three of the temporalty, 
The election with the king of Bohemia the seventh, to be the odd man and 
rorapper- Umpire, should choose him for ever, and send him to the pope 

taineth to ^ ^ ^ 

5>'ll'°';?l°^ to receive his oath, and to be crowned ^ Nevertheless the 
pope, to keep the emperor afar off, sendeth him his coronation 
home to him oft-times, much lever than that he should come 
any nearer, as a meek spirited man that had lever live 
solitary and alone, than have his holiness seen. 

A proper similitude to describe our holy Father. 

And to see how our holy father came up, mark the en- 
sample of an ivy tree : first it springeth out of the earth, and 
The ivy tree then awhilo creepeth along by the ground till it find a great 
springe . ^^qq Then it joineth itself beneath alow unto the body of 
the tree, and creepeth up a little and a little, fair and softly. 
And at the beginning, while it is yet thin and small, that the 
The manner burdcu is uot pcrcoived, it scemeth glorious to garnish the 
pope did tree in the winter, and to bear off the tempests of the weather, 
his great au- But iu the mcau season it thrusteth roots into the bark of the 


tree, to hold fast withal ; and ceaseth not to climb up, till it 
be at the top and above all. And then it sendeth his branches 
along by the branches of the tree, and overgroweth all, and 
waxeth great, heavy, and thick ; and sucketh the moisture so 
sore out of the tree and his branches, that it choaketh and 
stifleth them. And then the foul stinking ivy waxeth mighty 
in the stump of the tree, and becometh a seat and a nest for 
all unclean birds, and for blind owls, which hawk in the dark, 
and dare not come at the hght. 

Even so the bishop of Rome, now called pope, at the 
beginning crope along upon the earth ; and every man trod 
upon him in this world. But as soon as there came a christ- 
ian emperor, he joined himself unto his feet and kissed them, 
and crope up a little with begging now this privilege, now 
that; now this city, now that; to find poor people withal, 
The choosing and the necessary ministers of God's word. And he entitled 
and all tlio empcror with choosing the pope and other bishops; and 
thrim"eror P^^ci^oted iu the spiritualty, not whom virtue and learning, 

and kings 
once. W. T. 

[1 Plat. D. V. Pout, in Vita. Greg. V. whose popedom extended 
only fiom 996 to 999.] 


but whom the favour of great men commended ; to flatter, to 

get friends, and defenders withal. And the ahns of the con- The aims 

o given unto 

gregation which was the food and patrmiony of the poor and {,'^^j;°°'s't* 
necessary preachers, that he called St Peter's patrimony, St ^f^'^^'^p**"- 
Peter's rent, St Peter's lands, St Peter's right ; to cast a ^- '^■ 
vain fear and a heathenish superstitiousness into the hearts 
of men, that no man should dare meddle with whatsoever came 
once into their hands for fear of St Peter, though they minis- 
tered it never so evil ; and that they which should think it 
none alms to give them any more (because they had too much 
already) should yet give St Peter somewhat, (as Nabuchodo- Dan. xiv. 
nesser gave his god Beel) to purchase an advocate and an 
intercessor of St Peter, and that St Peter should at the first 
knock let them in. And thus, with flattering and feigning, 
and vain superstition, under the name of St Peter, he crept fi^ft gat* 
up and fastened his roots in the heart of the emperor, and buhops!"nd^ 
with his sword clamb up above all his fellow-bishops, and the'em'peror. 
brought them under his feet. And as he subdued them with 
the emperor's sword, even so by subtilty and help of them 
(after that they were sworn faithful) he clamb above the em- 
peror, and subdued him also, and made him stoop unto his 
feet and kiss them another while. Yea, pope Ccelestinus 
crowned the emperor Henry the fifth 2, holding the crown o'^^'^'^er. 
between his feet: and when he had put the crown on, he Note this de. 
smote it off with his feet again, saying, that he had might to abominable 
make emperors and to put them down again^ 

And he made a constitution, that no layman should meddle by'tiTepope! 
with their matters, nor be in their councils, or wit what they 

[2 The pope was Coelestine III., but the emperor was Henry VI., 
not the fifth. The date 1191.] 

[3 This is related in Hoveden, a chronicler contemporary with 
Coelestine III., as follows : Deinde introduxit eos dominus papa in ec- 
clesiam, et unxit eum in imperatorem et uxorem suam in iraperatricem. 
Sedebat autem dominus papa in cathedra pontificali, tenens coronam 
auream imperialem inter pedes sues ; et imperator inclinato capita 
recepit coronam, et imperatrix similiter, de pedibus domini papee. 
Dominus autem papa statim percussit cum pede suo coronam impera- 
toris, et dejecit eum [eam] in terra, significans quod ipse potestatem 
ejiciendi eum ab imperio habet, si ille demeruerit : sed cardinales 
statim corripientes coronam imposuerunt eam capiti imperatoris. — 
Roger. Hoveden. Annal. Angl. p. 689, in Rerum Anglic, script, post 
Bed. preecip. Francofurti. mdci.] 


did^ ; and that the pope only should call the council 2, and the 

emperor should but defend the pope ^ ; provided alway that 

the council should be in one of the pope's towns, and where 

the pope's power was greater than the emperor's^. Then, 

The pope under a pretence of condemning some heresy, he called a 

shTvlnn^s^ general council, where he made one a patriarch, another car- 

intodignities. j-^^^j^ another legate, another primate, another archbishop, 

another bishop, another dean, another archdeacon, and so 

forth, as we now see. 

Quaiis pater, And as the pope played with the emperor, so did his 

talis filius; i , • i i i • i i • i • 

good natural branchcs and his members, the bishops, play m every king- 
^- ^- dom, dukedom, and lordship ; insomuch that the very heirs 

of them by whom they came up, hold now their lands of 
them, and take them for their chief lords. And as the em- 
peror is sworn to the pope, even so every king is sworn to 

[1 Dist. xxviii. cap. 17. De presbyteris non est laicis judicandum. 
De presbyteris vobis qui laici estis nee judicandum est, nee de eonim 
vita quidpiam investigandum. This sentence is incorporated into the 
decretal from Nicolaus papa I. ad consulta Bulgarorum, c. 7. Date 

[2 Dist. xvii. cap. 5. Non est concihum sed conventiculum, quod 
sine sedis apostohcse auctoritate celebratur. Item Pelagius papa II. 
MuUis denuo apostohcis et canonicis atque ecclesiasticis instruimui* 
reguHs, non debere absque sententia Romani pontificis conciha cele- 
brari. Tlie same is affirmed in cap. 1 and 2 of the same Distinctio.] 

[3 Uterque ergo est in potestate ecclesite, spiritahs scihcet gladius et 
materialis. Sed is quidem pro ecclesia, ille vero ab ecclesia exercendus : 
iUe sacerdotis, is manu regum et miUtum, sed ad nutum et patientiam 
saccrdotis. Oportet autem gladium esse sub gladio, et temporalem 
auctoritatem spiritaH subjici potestati. Boniface VIII. Extrav. comm. 
Lib. I. Tit. viii. cap. 1. Corp. juris canonici. Lugduni 1622.] 

[4 At the time of Tyndale's writing this it was notorious that the 
emperor was urging Clement VII. to summon a council, and to let its 
sessions be held in some German city : this however the pope de- 
clined. II papa, says father Paul, propose per luogo una delle citta. 
dello stato ecclesiastico ; [dicendo] Non poter in alcun modo consentire 
di celebrarlo in Germania, perche 1 'Italia non comportarebbe d'esser 
posposta ; e la Spagna e Francia, che nelle cose ecclesiastiche cedono 
air Italia per la pi'erogativa del pontificato, che e proprio di quella, non 
vorrebbono coder alia Germania. Quanto al modo di definire le cose 
in concilio, diceva il pontifice esser cosa chiara che nel concilio non 
hanno voto, se non i vescovi per dritto del canone, e gli abbati per con- 
suctudine, ed alcuni altri per privilegio pontificio. — Hist, del Concil. 
Tridentino. Lond. 1619. p. 58.] 

THE pope's kingdom UNLIKE TO CHRIST's. 273 

the bishops and prelates of his realm : and they are the 
chiefest in all parliaments ; yea, they and their money, and 
they that be sworn to them, and come up by them, rule 

And thus the pope, the father of all hypocrites, hath with me pope's 
falsehood and guile perverted the order of the world, and plredwitii 
turned the roots of the trees upward, and hath put down the w. x. 
kingdom of Christ, and set up the kingdom of the devil, whose 
vicar he is ; and hath put down the ministers of Christ, and 
hath set up the ministers of Satan, disguised yet in names 
and garments like unto the angels of light and ministers of 
righteousness. For Christ's kingdom is not of the world 
(John xviii.) ; and the pope's kingdom is all the world. johnxviii. 

And Christ is neither judge nor divider in this world ciuistand 

" the pope 

(Luke xii.) : but the pope judgeth and divideth all the world, ^o™?^^^'* 
and taketh the empire and all kingdoms, and giveth them to ^"kexii. 
whom he lusteth. 

Christ saith, "Blessed are the poor in spirit:" so that jj^j^ ^^ 
the first step in the kingdom of Christ is humbleness, or hu- 
mility ; that thou canst find in thine heart to do service unto 
all men, and to suffer that all men tread thee. 

The pope saith, 'Blessed be the proud and high-minded, 
that can cHmb and subdue all under them, and maintain their 
right, and such as will suffer of no man :' so that he which 
was yesterday taken from the dunghill and promoted this day 
by his prince, shall to-morrow, for the pope's pleasure, curse 
him, and excommunicate him, and interdict his realm. 

Christ saith, " Blessed be the meek," or soft, that be 
harmless as doves. 

The pope blesseth them that can set all the world together 
by the ears, and fight, and slay manfully for his sake, that 
he may come hot from blood-shedding to a bishoprick ; as our 
cardinal did^, and as St Thomas of Canterbury did, which 

[5 ' The care of providing all that was requisite for the French war 
of 1513 was confided to Wolsey. He attended the king to his campaign, 
and became the principal person at his side, being deemed the author 
of the expedition ; and he participated in all the reputation which it 
gained. He was appointed bishop of the conquered town of Tournay, 
and in the following year bishop of Lincoln, and also, on the death of 
one of his patrons, archbishop of York.' Sh. Turner, Hist. Hen. VIH. 
B. I. ch. 7, Vol. I. p. 179, 2nd ed.] 

r n IS 

[tYNDxVLE, ii.j 


was made bishop in the field, in complete harness on his 
horseback, and his spear bloody in his hand^ 

Christ hath neither holes for foxes, nor nests for birds, 
nor yet whereon to lay his head, nor promised aught in this 
world unto his disciples, nor took any to his disciple but him 
that had forsaken all. 

The ivy-tree, the pope, hath under his roots throughout 

all Christendom, in every village, holes for foxes, and nests 

for unclean birds in all his branches, and promiseth unto his 

disciples all the promotions of the world. 

Christ The nearer unto Christ a man cometh, the lower he must 

man low, but dcsccnd, and the poorer he must wax. But the nearer unto 

the pope 1 1 • 1 Till 

liftethupon the popc ye come, the higher ye must climb, and the more 
riches ye must gather, whencesoever ye can get them, to 
pay for your bulls, and to purchase a glorious name, and 
hcence to wear a mitre, and a cross, and a pall, and goodly 

How the pope receiveth his kingdom of the devil, and how he dis- 
tributeth it again. 

Tiiepope Shortly, the kingdoms of the earth and the glory of 

receiveth his e/ ' ^ o o t/ 

ki?gdomsof t^^m, which Christ refused, (Matt, iv.) did the devil proffer 
Matt.'^i'v!' ui^to the pope ; and he immediately fell from Christ, and 
worshipped the devil, and received them. For by falsehead 
(as he maintaineth them) came he thereto ; and by false- 
head do all his disciples come thereto. Who of an hundred 
one is pope, bishop, or any great prelate, but either by ne- 
cromancy, or simony, or waiting on great men's pleasures, 
and with corrupting of God's word, and fashioning it after 
their lusts? 
distrPbuteth ^^^ *^^ pope, after he had received the kingdom of the 

world of the devil, and was become the devil's vicar, took up 
in like manner all Cliristendom on high, and brought them 
from the meekness of Christ unto the high hill of the pride 
of Lucifer, and shewed them all the kingdoms of the earth, 
saying : ' Fall down and worship me, and I will give you 
these.' Unto the spiritualty he saith : 'Fall from Christ, and 

[1 It is not historically correct to say that Becket was made 
bishop in the field ; but the language of his chaplain and biographer, 
William Fitz- Stephen, might seem to Tyndale to imply that he was 


his father's 




preach me, and take thou that cardinalship, thou that bishop- 
rick, thou that abbotship, and so forth ; thou as many bene- 
fices as thou wilt, and a dispensation for what thou wilt^' 
And to monks and friars in hke manner : 'Take thou that hole, 
and thou that nest, with what privileges ye will desire, and 
dispensations of your rules, if ye will preach me.' 

And unto the temporalty he saith, first to the emperor : 
' If thou wilt fall down and kiss my feet, and swear to hold of 
me, and to defend me, I give thee the empire.' 

And to all kings, in like manner, if they will swear to 
defend his hberties, and to hold of him, he crowneth them. 
And even so all temporal lords, from the highest unto the 
lowest, and all officers, and all manner subjects, if they will 
enjoy lands, rents, offices, goods, and their very lives, they 
must run the same way. 

The very whores (God's honour unregarded), as long as 
they despise not him and his ordinances, they shall nest in 
his rents ^, and among his prelates. And the thieves and 
murderers shall have dens in his sanctuaries, whatsoever they 
do against God, so long as they hang on him. 

The apostles chose priests to preach Christ only, all The pope's 
other things laid apart, and chose none but learned and vir- v^^eA with 

O ^ the order of 

tuous. The pope shaveth whosoever cometh, lever out of the ^e apostles. 
stews than from study : and when they be sworn, he sendeth priests?w.T 
them unto all great men's houses to preach his godhead, to 
be stewards, surveyors, receivers, and counsellors of all 
manner mischief; to corrupt wife, daughter, and maid, and to 
betray their own master, as oft as it needeth to promote their 
falsehood withal : for thereto are they sworn together. And 
when they have done all mischief, there shall no man wot 
whence it cometh. 

The apostles chose deacons to minister the alms of the The popes 

W. T. 

[2 Clement VII. was neither withheld by the general outcry for a 
reform of these abuses, nor by shame, from giving to his nephew, 
Ciirdinal Ippolito do Medici, authority to take possession of all the 
vacant benefices in the whole world, secular and regular, dignified and 
parochial, simple or with cure of souls, and to hold them in commendam 
for six months, with faculty to dispose of and convert to his own use 
all the fruits thereof. Concil. Trident, p. 246.] 

[3 Tenements, which pay rent immediately to the proprietor of the 
soil. Certain tenements on the banks of the Thames, called the 
bishop of Winchester's rents, were then in very ill fame J 



rich unto the poor ; and to help the deacons, they chose 
widows of sixty years old, holy, and destitute of friends, to 
tend the sick. And the pope instead of such widows maketh 
whosoever cometh, whether she be young or old, but none 
save them that be rich and able to pay twenty, thirty, or 
forty pound for their profession ; to whom, for as much more, 
he will give a dispensation on the morrow to marry again. 
The popes And iustoad of such deacons, he maketh both deacons and 

deacons. ■,•%■, , • n i 

w. T. sub-deacons, which do nothmg at all, but are vam names 

without office; except it be that on some holy day, instead 
of ministering the goods of the church unto the poor, they 
sing an epistle or gospel, to beg more from the poor. 

And as his deacons minister the goods of the church unto 
the poor, even so do his priests preach Christ's gospel unto 
the flock. 

And the alms that was given to the sustentatlon of the 
How the poor, which thou shalt read in stories that it was in some 
divideththe cities above twenty, thirty, and forty, yea, an hundred thou- 

poor people's " '' t/ ' t/ ' 

alms. w^.T. gand pound, and all the lands given for the same purpose, 
they have stolen from them, and have divided it among them- 
selves. And therewith did they at the beginning corrupt the 
great men of the world, and clamb up to this height, where 
they now be. And for that have they striven among them- 
selves this eight hundred years : and, to maintain that 
which they have falsely gotten, hath the pope stirred up a 
sword of war in all Christendom this eight hundred year, 
and hath taken peace clean out of the world. 

When the bishops, priests, and deacons were fallen, and 
had received of the pope the kingdom that pertained unto the 
poor people, and had robbed them, and parted their patri- 

^^^ 1^^ mony among themselves, then sprang the orders of monks ; 

w'i'- whose profession was, to abstain from flesh all their lives \ 
to wear vile raiment, to eat but once in the day, and that 

[1 Carnem cuiquam monacho nee sumendi nee gustandi est con- 
cessa licentia ; non quod ereatiiram Dei judicemus indignam, sed quod 
carnis abstinentia utilis et apta monachis ajstimetur; servato tamen 
modcramine pietatis erga scgrotos. Quod si quis monachus viohiverit, 
et eontra sanctionem regulsc usumque veterum vesei carnibus prse- 
sumpserit ; sex mensium spatio retrusioni et poenitentiee subjacebit. — 
Corp. Jur. canon. Decret. pars in. De Consecr. Dist. v. can. 32. Lug- 
dimi. 1622.] 


but butter, cheese, eggs, fruits, roots, and sucli things that 

were not costly, and might everywhere be found. And they 

wrote books, and wrought divers things, to get their Hving 

withaL When the laymen saw that the priests were fallen 

into such covetousness, and that the monks were so holy, they 

thought, ' These be meet men to minister our alms unto the 

poor people: for their profession is so holy that they cannot ^on^g ^a^e 

deceive us as the priests do:' and made the monks tutors ^ J^,g"poor!'° 

and ministers unto the poor ; and gave great lands and riches 

into their hands, to deal it unto the poor. When the monks 

saw such abundance, they fell after the ensample of the priests; 

and took dispensations of the pope for their rules and strait 

profession, which now is as wide as their cowls ; and divided 

all amoncr them, and robbed the poor once more. And out of Monks rob 

^ , the poor. 

the abbeys took he the most part of his bishopricks and ca- 
thedral churches, and the most part of all the lands he hath, 
besides that there remain yet so many mighty abbeys, and 
nunneries thereto. 

As soon as the monks were fallen, then sprang these Begging 

friars. W. T. 

begging friars out of hell, the last kind of caterpillars, in a 
more vile apparel, and a more strait religion ; that, if aught 
of relief were left among the laymen for the poor people, 
these horse-leeches might suck that also : which drone-bees, 
as soon as they had learned their craft, and had built them 
goodly and costly nests, and their limiters had divided all 
countries among them to beg in, and had prepared livings of 
a certainty, though with begging ; then they also took dis- 
pensations of the pope, for to live as largely and as lewdly as 
the monks. 

And yet unto the laymen, whom they have thus falsely The charge 
robbed, and from which they have divided themselves, and people. 
made them a several kingdom among themselves, they leave 
the paying of toll, custom, and tribute (for unto all the 
charges of the realms will they not pay one mite^), and the 

[2 That is, guardians, defenders of their property.] 
[3 In the Corpus Juris canonici, Sexti Decret. Lib. iii. Tit. xxiii. 
prsecipit personas ecclesiasticas pro rebus suis vel ecclesiarum nil laicis 
solvere debere absque licentia apostolicse sedis, sub quocunque colore 
mutui, subventionis, doni, vel alio quolibet ; ut etiam ipsi laici tallias 
non exigant, vel recipiant ; singulares contra facientes excommunicat; 
et ab his sententiis solus papa absolvit, preeterquam in mortis articulo.] 


finding of all the poor, the finding of scholars for the most 
part, the finding of these foresaid horse-leeches and caterpillars, 
the begging friars, the repairing of the high-ways and bridges, 
the building and reparations of their abbeys and cathedral 
churches, chapels, colleges; for which they send out their 
pardons daily by heaps, and gather a thousand pounds for 
every hundred that they bestow truly. 

If the lay-people have war, or whatsoever charge it be, 
they will not bear a mite. If the war be theirs (as the one 
part almost of all war is to defend them), they will with false- 
hood make them bear the greatest part ; besides that they 
must leave their wives and children, and go fight for them, 
and lose their lives. And Ukewise in all their charges they 
have a cast to poll the lay-people. The Scots cast down a 
castle of the bishop of Durham's, on the Scottish bank, 
called Norham castle; and he gat a pardon from Rome for 
the building of it again : wherewith I doubt not but he gat 
for every penny, that he bestowed, three ^ 
How the And what do they with their store, that they have in so 

bestow^heir great plenty everywhere ; so that the very begging friars, in 
vtr!^' short space, to make a cardinal or a pope of their sect, or to 
do what feat it were for their profit, would not stick to bring 
above a king's ransom ? Verily, make goodly places and 
parks of pleasure, and gay shrines, and painted posts, and 
purchase pardons, wherewith they yet still poll and pluck 
away that little wherewith the poor, which perish for need, 
and fall into great inconveniences, might be somewhat holpen 
and relieved ; and lay up in store to have alway to pay for 
the defending of their faith, and for to oppress the truth. 

How the pope made him a law, and why. 

After that the pope with tyranny was clomb up above his 

[1 Norham Castle, though on the Scottish border, is on the English 
side of the Tweed ; and in a survey of the borders made by Sir Robert 
Bowes and Sir Ralph Elleker, knts., Dec. 1542, it is reported to be 
in a very good state, both in reparations and fortifications. But this 
report was drawn up when Bp Tonstal was in favour at court. An- 
other report drawn up by Sir Robert Bowes but eight years later for 
the marquess of Dorset, then warden of the Marches, says that " The 
castle for lack of continual reparation is in much decay," and specifies 
considerable decays at some length. — Hodgson's Northumberland, 
Part III. Vol. II. pp. 190 and 197—9.] 


brethren, and had made all the spiritualty his subjects, and 
had made of them and him a several kingdom among them- 
selves, and had separated them from the lay in all things, 
and had got privileges, that whatsoever they did no man 
should meddle v^ith them ; and after also he had received 
the kingdoms of the earth of Satan, and was become his vicar 
to distribute them ; and after that the emperor was fallen in 
like manner at his feet, and had worshipped him as god, to 
receive his empire of him; and all kings had done likewise to 
be anointed of him, and to be crowned of him ; and after 
that the world, both great and small, had submitted them- 
selves to receive the beast's badge; then, because that Christ's 
doctrine was contrary unto all such kingdoms, and therefore The pope 

e' 1 • maketh laws. 

had no law therein how to rule it, he went and made him a 
several law of his own making, which passed in cruelty and 
tyranny the laws of all heathen princes. 

And in his law he thrust in feigned gifts of old emperors The pope 
that were out of memory, saying that the emperor Constan- {he^ft^f^ 
tinus had given up the empire of Rome unto St Sylvester 2; whitsub- 
which is proved a false lie, for divers causes : one, that St usethto^"^^ 
Sylvester, being so holy a man, as he was, would not have kingdom. 
received it contrary to his Master's commandments and doc- 
trine ; another, that the emperors reigned in Rome many 
years after, and all bishops sued unto the emperor, and not 
to the pope, which was but bishop of Rome only, and not 
called father of fathers : moreover, that no authentic story 
maketh mention that any emperor gave them their patrimony, 
but that Pipine, which falsely and with strength invaded 
the empire, gave it unto him. Then put he in the grant 
of Phocas; then the gift of Pipine confirmed by the great 
Charles ; then a feigned release of the election of the pope, 
given up again unto pope Paschal by the emperor Lewis ^. 
For they themselves had granted unto Charlemagne and his 

[2 In the papal law, Decreti pars 1™*, Dist. xcvi. can. 13, says, 
Constantinus imperator coronam et omnem regiam dignitatem in urbe 
Romana et in Italia et in partibus occidentalibus apostolico concessit. 
Nam gestis beati Sylvestri (quod beatus papa Gelasius in conventu 
Ixx episcoporum a catholicis legi commemorat, et pro antique usu 
multas hoc imitari dicit ecclesias) ita legitur. And then the pretended 
deed of gift follows, and constitutes can. 14 of the same Distinctio.] 

[3 His concession is incorporated in the papal law, as can. 30 of 
Dist. Lxiii. Decret. pars 1™*.] 


successors for ever the election or denomination of the pope 
and bishops, to flatter him withal, and to make him a faithful 
defender, and that in a general council, which (as they say) 
cannot err. Nevertheless pope Paschal, though he believed 
the council could not err, yet he thought them somewhat 
overseen to make so long a grant, and therefore he pur- 
chased a release of gentle Lewis, as they pretend. But verily 
it is more likely that they feigned that grant to excuse their 
tyranny, after they had taken the election into their hands 
again with violence, when the emperors were weak, and not 
able to resist them ; as they feigned the gift of Constantino, 
after they had invaded the empire with subtilty and falsehood. 
And, last of all, they brought in the oath of Otho, with the 
order that now is used, to choose the emperor. 

How the pope corrupteth the scripture, and why. 

The pope Morcovor, lest these his lies should be spied, and lest 

theTcnpture, haply tlic ompcrors following might say, 'Our predecessors had 
no power to bind us, nor to minish our might;' and lest kings 
following should say after the same manner, that the sword, 
and full power to punish evildoers indifferently, is given of 
God to every king for his time, and therefore that their pre- 
decessor could not bind them contrary unto the ordinance of 
God, but rather that it was unto their damnation to make 
such grants, and that they did not execute their ofiice ; 
therefore^ the foul and misshapen monster gat him to the 
scripture, and corrupted it with false expositions, to prove 
that such authority was given him of God ; and challenged it 
?ifepopeTwas ^7 ^^® authority of Peter, saying that Peter was the head of 
Chrises'' "'^ Christ's church, and that Christ had made him lord over 
church. ^YiQ apostles, his fellows, in that he bade him feed his sheep 
johnxxi. and lambs ^, John the last; as who should say that Paul, 

[1 Old editions, a7id therefore.] 

[2 Igitur ecclesise unius et unicfe unum corpus, unum caput, non 
dua opita, quasi monstrura, Christus videlicet, et Christi vicarius 
Petrus, Petrique successor, dicente Domino ipsi Petro, Pasce eves 
meas, inquit et generaliter, non singulariter has vel illas, per quod 
commisisse sibi intelligitur uniyersas. Sive ergo Greeci sive alii se 
dicant Petro ejusque successoribus non esse commissos, fateantur ne- 
cesse se de ovibus Christi non esse. — Corp. Jur. canon. Extrav. com- 
mun. Lib. i. Tit. viii. can. 1, Unam sanctam.] 


which came long after, was not commanded to feed as es- aii ministers 
pecially as Peter, which yet would take none authority over acha^ge^^^^ 
the bodies or over the faiths of them which he fed, but was?fpo''as 

Peter had. 

their servant for Christ's sake, Christ ever the lord and 
head ; and as though the other apostles were not likewise as 
specially commanded as Peter ; and as though we now, and all 
that hereafter shall love Christ, were not commanded to feed 
Christ's flock, every man in his measure, as well as Peter. 
Are not we commanded to love our neighbours as ourselves, 
as well as Peter ? Why then are we not commanded to care 
for his flock, as well as Peter ? 

Moreover, if to feed Christ's sheep is to be greatest, (as ^^^^l^^^ 
no doubt to feed Christ's flock is to be great, and most to pJ^VchXot. 
feed is to be greatest ; in which office, though Peter was 
great, yet Paul was greater;) how cometh it that the pope by 
that authority challengeth to be greatest, and yet this eight 
hundred years feedeth not at all ; but poisoneth their pasture 
with the venomous leaven of his traditions, and with wresting 
the text unto a contrary sense ? 

Then came he to this text, (Matt, xvi.), " Thou art Peter, Matt. xvi. 
and upon this rock I will build my congregation" or church. 
Lo, saith antichrist, the carnal beast, Peter is the rock 
whereon the church of Christ is built^ ; and I am his suc- 
cessor, and therefore the head of Christ's church : when 
Christ meant by the rock the confession that Peter had con- 
fessed, saying, " Thou art Christ, the son of the living God," 
which art come into this world. This faith is the rock Faith is the 

• 1 1 • 1 •! -n 1 • /» r^i • rock whereon 

whereon Christ's church is built. For who is of Christ's ^"^rist's 

church IS 

church, but he only that belie veth that Christ is God's Son, •^"*'t. vv. t. 
come into this world to save sinners ? This faith is it, against 
which hell-gates cannot prevail. This faith is it, which saveth 
the congregation of Christ ; and not Peter. 

[3 Ita Dominus ad omnium apostolorum officium pertinere voluit, 
ut in beatissimo Petro apostolorum omnium summo principaliter col- 
locaret: ut ab ipso quasi quodam capite dona sua, velut in corpus 
omne diffunderet, ut exsortem se mysterii intelligeret esse divini, qui 
ausus fuisset a Petri soliditate recedere. Hunc enim in consoi'tium 
individuse unitatis assumptum, id quod ipse crat voluit nominari, di- 
cendo, Tu es Petrus et super banc Petram sedificabo ecclesiam meam ; 
ut seterni sedificatio templi mirabili munere gratise Dei in Petri solidi- 
tate consisteret. — Corp. Jur. can. Deer. 1™* pars. Dist. xix. can. 7.] 



Binding and 
loosing, how 
it is to be 

Behold here 
how he 
wreiteth the 

power is I 

judgeth he 
with all 
W. T. 

Then he goeth forth unto that which followeth : " Unto 
thee I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and 
whatsoever thou bindest in earth, it shall be bound in hea- 
ven," &c. ' Lo, saith he, in that he saith, whatsoever thou 
bindest in earth, he excepteth nothing ; therefore, I may- 
make laws, and bind both king and emperor':' when Christ, 
as he had no worldly kingdom, even so he spake of no worldly 
binding, but of binding of sinners. Christ gave his disciples 
the key of the knowledge of the law of God, to bind all 
sinners ; and the key of the promises, to loose all that re- 
pent, and to let them into the mercy that is laid up for us in 

Then cometh he unto another text, which Christ rehears- 
eth, Matthew last, saying, "All power is given me in heaven 
and earth : go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing 
them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost ; teaching them to keep all that I commanded you : 
and behold, I am with you unto the world's end." Lo, saith 
the pope, Christ hath all power in heaven and earth without 
exception, and I am Christ's vicar ; wherefore all power is 
mine, and I am above all kings and emperors in temporal 
jurisdiction, and they but my servants, to kiss not my feet 
only, but my .sK also, if I list not to have them stoop so low: 
when Christ, as I said, because he had no temporal kingdom, 
even so he meant of no temporal power, but of power to save 
sinners, which the process of the text declareth, by that he 
saith. Go ye therefore, and teach and baptize ; that is, preach 
this power unto all nations, and wash off their sins, through 
faith in the promises made in my blood. 

Then he cometh unto another text, (Heb. vii.) which is, 
" The priesthood being translated, the law must needs be trans- 
lated also." Now, saith the pope, 'The priesthood is translated 
unto me ; wherefore it pertaineth unto me to make laws, and 
to bind every man.' And the epistle meaneth no such thing ; 

[1 Item Adrianus Papa. Generali decreto censemus et constituimus, 
ut execrandum anathema sit, et yelut prsevaricator fidei catholicse 
semper apud Deum reus existat, quicunque regum seu episcoijorum 
vel potentum deinceps Romanorum pontificum decretorum censuram 
in quocunque crediderit vel permiserit violandam, — Decret. 2^*. pars. 
Cans. XXV. qu. 1. can. 11.] 

[2 So both in the folio and M. and S. S. ed.] 


but proveth evidently that the ceremonies of Moses must ^J^^^?^ ^^ 
cease : for the priests of the old Testament must needs have offering of 
been of the tribe of Levi, as Aaron was, whose duty for ever ceremonie^s"'^ 
was the offering of sacrifices ; wherefore, when that priesthood c/Slt offered 
ceased, the sacrifices and ceremonies ceased also. Now that fo"aTi. °"*^^ 
priesthood ceased in Christ, which was a priest of the order of 
Melchizedec, and not of the order of Aaron ; for then he must 
have been of the tribe of Levi, and that he was not, but of 
the tribe of .Judah, and of the seed of David : wherefore they 
that are under Christ"'s priesthood are under no sacrifices or 
ceremonies. And of this manner juggle they with all the 
scripture : which falsehood lest the laymen should perceive 
with reading the process of the text, is all their fear, whatso- 
ever they pretend. 

Moreover, that thou may est perceive the pope's falsehood, Christ gave 

1 /^i • • 1 T. T Ml • .1 T • all his apes- 

mark, Christ said unto reter, "1 will give, and not "1 give; tiesuke 

o ' j; ' authority. 

neither said he, 'I will give unto thee only.' Therefore, look 
in the twentieth chapter of John, where he gave them the John xx. 
keys after his resurrection, and thou shalt see he gave them 
unto all indifferently, saying, " As my Father sent me, so 
send I you." Whither sent he them ? Unto all the world, and 
unto all nations. What to do ? To preach the law, that the 
people might repent; and the promises, that they might 
believe in Christ for the remission of sins ; saying, " Keceive 
the Holy Ghost : whosoever's sin ye forgive, they shall be 
forgiven." By which Holy Ghost he gave them understand- 
ing of the scripture, and of all that they should preach : as 
thou may est see, Luke last, where he opened their wits to Lukexxiv. 
understand the scripture, and said, " That repentance and 
forgiveness of sins must be preached in his name to all 
nations," and that they were witnesses to preach it. Where- Towndana 

' <^ ^ _ i loose IS to 

by thou seest, that to bind and to loose is but to preach and ^'^^^''• 
tell the people their faults, and to preach mercy in Christ to 
all that repent. 

And when he saith, "All power is given me," he saith not, Christ sent 

' r O ' out all his 

Go thou, Peter, and preach : but saith unto all indifferently, ^^t pe'^/"'* 
Go ye and preach this power given me of my Father to ^'°"'^- 
save all that repent ; and to damn them that repent not, but 
follow the lusts of their flesh, with full desire to live beastly, 
being enemies unto the law of God. 


forgive his brother ^ whether seven times? And Christ said, 
" Seventy times seven times." As who should say, As oft as 
he repenteth, and asketh forgiveness. 

Now, though this was spoken unto Peter only, because 

Peter only moved the question, yet pertaineth it not unto us 

We are all as woll as uuto Peter? Are not we as much bound to 

bound to. -ii 1 1 T n • 

forgive our forffive our neighbours that repent and ask forgiveness as 

neiglibours cd o i o 

PetTr"wTs Peter? Yes, verily. But because Peter only asked the 
Christ question, therefore did Christ teach us by Peter. If another 

ciuirc'h upon had askod, he would have taught us by that other. And in 
sion^of Peter, like manuor, when Christ asked, "Who say ye that I am ?" 

antl not e/ «/ 

upon Peter, if any otlier of the apostles which believed it as well as Peter 
had said as Peter did, " Thou art Christ, the Son of the living 
God, which art come into the world of sinners, to save them ;" 
unto him would Christ have answered as he did to Peter, 
That upon the rock of that his confession he would have 
built his church ; and would have promised him keys, as well 

Matt, xviii. as he did Peter. Yea, and in the eighteenth chapter of Mat- 
thew Christ saith to all the apostles, yea, and to all congre- 
gations where sinners be, That whatsoever they bound should 
be bound, and whatsoever they loosed should be loosed. 

A woman Moreovor, every man and woman, that know Christ and 

to bind. his doctrine, have the keys, and power to bind and loose ; in 
an order yet^ and in their measure, as time, place, and occa- 

Howa sion giveth, and privately. May not a wife, if her husband 

bindand"^^ siu agaiust God and her, and take another woman, tell him 
his fault between him and her secretly, and in good manner 
humbly, and bind his conscience with the law of God ? And 
if he repent, may she not forgive him, and loose him, as well 
as the pope ? Yea, and better too, as long as the sin is secret ; 
inasmuch as he sinneth specially against her, and not against 
the pope. 

And so may the son do to his father, and a servant to his 
master, and every man to his neighbour ; as thou seest in the 

To bind the said eighteenth chapter of Matthew. Howbeit, to bind and 

conscience, ° . ^ . 

and to re- loose m the conscience, by open preaching, pertaineth unto the 

jiroveopen ' ./ l l O' l 

plrtomethto officcrs that are appointed thereto. And to bind and loose 
uon?""^"'^''' open sinners, and them that will not repent, till they be complain- 
ed on unto the congregation, pertaineth unto the congregation. 

[1 Marb. brether; S. S. ed. brother; Day, brethren,] 
[2 So Marb. and S. S. ed. In day, yet is wanting.] 


Finally, there were many that preached Christ at Rome, Reasons that 

"^ ./, "^ ... x^ , Peter was not 

it he came ever thither ; as raul, "^e greatest 

by authority 
given him 
of ChrisU 

Or else how did they convert the people ? Peter also was an ^- ^• 
apostle, and went from place to place as Paul did; and as Paul 
ordained bishops in every place to teach the people, so no 
doubt did Peter, Why then might not those bishops challenge 
authority by Peter, as well as they of Rome ? They say also peter had 
in their own legends, that Peter had his seat at Antioch first'', at liuiodl* 
Did he run to Rome, leaving no man behind him to teach the 
people at Antioch ? God forbid. Why then might not that 
bishop challenge Peter''s authority ? They will haply say, 
sooner than prove it, that Peter died at Rome, and therefore 
his authority is greatest there. Then by that rule Christ's 
power is no where so full as at Jerusalem. But what hath 
Chrisfs invisible kingdom to do with places ? Where Christ''s chrisfs 
gospel is, there is his power full and all his authority, as well ["CgospJ" 
in one place as in another. 

Finally, to get authority whencesoever they can snatch it, pauiiscaiie( 
they join Paul with Peter in their own laws, Distinctio xxii. wI't^ 
saying, "By the authority of Peter and Paul :""^ which is clean 
against themselves. For they say in their own law. In thej^^^gp^g. 
presence of the superior the power of the inferior ceaseth, and greafer^> 
is none at all^. Now if Peter be greater than Paul, then, by t'heTess°er 

doth cease. 

[3Yer: ere.] 

[} Marcellus Papa universis episcopis per Antiochiam constitutis, 
epist. 1. Ipse enim [Pctrus] caput est totius ecclesiee, cui ait Do- 
minus, Tu es Petrus &c. Ejus enim sedes primitus apud vos fuit, 
quae postea, jubente Domino, Romam translata est. Nee ab ejus dis- 
positione vos deviare oportet, ad quam cuncta majora ecclesiastica 
negotia, divina disponente gratia, jussa sunt referri. Deer. 2'^''. pars. 
Caus. XXIV. Qu. i. can. 15.] 

[5 In the Corp. Jm\ canon. Distinct, xxii. cap. Sacrosancta, contains 
the following sentence : Prima ergo sedes est ccelesti beneflcio Romanas 
eeclesiaj, quam beatissimi Petrus et Paulus sue martyrio consecra- 
runt. But tlie next Distinctio, xxiii, which begins with the decree of 
pope Nicolas II., De eleetione summi pontificis, contains, in that decree, 
more exact language to Tyndale's purpose: Quod si quis contra hoc 
nostrum decretum synodali sontentia promulgatum per seditionem &c. 
electus fucrit, auctoritate divina et sanctorum apostolorum Petri et 
Pauli, perpetuo anathemate a liminibus sanctaj Dei ecclesise abjiciatur.] 

[6 Distinctio xxi. cap. 4. Inferior sedes. Sole clarius exhibuimus, 
non posse quenquam, qui minoris auctoritatis est, eum qui majoris 


that rule, where Peter is present, there Paul is but a subject, 
and without authority. And where Christ is present bodily 
and preacheth himself, there the apostles give up their au- 
thority, and hold their peace, and sit down at his feet, and 
become scholars and hearken too. Wherefore, in that they 
join Paul with Peter, and challenge their superiority as well 
iJwifeiTow'' ^y ^^^ authority of Paul as of Peter, there they make Paul 
with Peter, fellow and equal with Peter. And thus it is false that Peter 
was greater than his fellows. But the bhnd owls care not 
what they howl, seeing it is night, and the day-light of God's 
word shut up, that no man can spy them. 

Moreover, with this term, ' Peter's seat,' they juggle apace 
(as with infinite other), saying, 'That Peter's seat is the chief 
seat;' but what Peter's seat is, that they tell you not: for 
wist ye that, ye should soon perceive that they he. Peter's 
seat is no stool, or chair, (for what hath the kingdom of Christ 
Matt. xxiii. tQ f\Q yfiii^ gygli baggage?) but it is a spiritual thing. Christ 
Jeter's seat, saith in the gospel, " The scribes and Pharisees sit on Moses' 
seat." What was Moses's seat there, a chair, or the temple, 
or the churches, or synagogue of the land ? Nay verily, for 
Moses came never there. But Moses' seat was Moses' law and 
Peter's '^^'' doctriue. Even so Peter's seat is Peter's doctrine, the gospel 
Peter's keysf 0^ ChHst, which Pctcr taught. And the same doctrine is 
one tiling! Pctcr's kcys : so that Peter's seat, Peter's keys, and Peter's 
doctrine is all one thing. Now is Peter's doctrine Paul's 
doctrine, and the doctrine of all the twelve apostles indiffer- 
ently ; for they taught all one thing. Wherefore it followeth, 
that Peter's keys and Peter's seat be the keys and seat of 
Paul also, and of all the other twelve apostles, and are nothing 
save the gospel of Christ. And thus, as Peter's doctrine is no 
better than Paul's, but one tiling ; even so Peter's seat is no 
greater, nor higher, nor hoher than the seat of the other 
Peter's seat twelvc. Pctcr's scat uow is Christ's seat, Christ's gospel, on 

IS Christ s O 1 ' 

gospel. which all the apostles sat, and on which this day sit all 

they only that preach Christ truly. Wherefore, as antichrist 

preacheth not Peter's doctrine (which is Christ's gospel), so he 

The pope sittcth uot on Pctcr's seat, but on the seat of Satan, whose vicar 

theAey\Ys he is, and on the seat of his own laws and ceremonies, and false 

seat, whose '^ . . 

vicar he is. doctriue, whercuuto he compelleth all men with violence of sword. 

potestatis est judiciis suis addiccre, aut propriis definitionibus sub- 


Then he clarab to purgatory with the ladder of the said 
text, " Whatsoever thou bindest in earth," &c. " Purgatory," Purgatory, 
saith he, "is in earth ^: wherefore I am lord there too." The pope 
Nevertheless, as he can prove no purgatory, so can he not purgatory 
prove that, if there were any, it should be in the earth. 
It might well be in the element or sphere of fire under the 
moon, as well as in the earth. But to bind and loose is, 
as I have above said, to preach, and to feed, and with 
Christ's doctrine to purge souls. And they that be dead be 
not of the flock which Christ bade Peter feed, but they that 
live only. 

Then clamb he up, with the same ladder still, over all vows vows. 
and professions of all religious persons, and over oaths made oaths. 
between man and man, to dispense with them, and over all 
men's testaments, to alter them. For what thou makest an Testaments. 
hospital, that will he shortly make a college of priests, or a 
place of religion, or what he lusteth. Then all manner monks The pope 
and friars, and like draff, took dispensations of him, for the men-s'wius 
ordinances of their old founders. And because, as they mentsathis 
thought, they had prayed and distributed for their souls 
enough to bring them out of purgatory, they thrust them out 
of their bead-rolls, and took daily more and more. 

But ever since they took dispensations of the pope, both 
for their rules, and to divide all among them, they received 
in the name, not of the poor, but of purgatory, to quench the Thepope-s 
raging fire thereof, which is as hot as their bellies can feign it, "merchandise. 
and fools be out of their wits to believe it ; promising a mass 
daily for forty shillings by the year, of which foundations 
when they have gotten twenty, they will yet, with an union union. 
purchased of the pope, make but one chauntry. For if they ^' ^' 
should do all that they have promised, from the first founder 
unto this day, five hundred monks were not enough in many 

Thinkest thou that men were ever so mad to make the 
fashions that are now among them; to give the cellarer ^ 
such a sum, and the prior, and the sub-prior, and the other 

[1 Ordinarius purgatorii locus, qui proprie et communiter nomine 
purgatorii intelligitiu", est sub terra, vicinus inferno. — Tractat. select. 
De quatuor novissimis. N. 27. P. Dens. op. Lovanii. 1776.] 

[2 Marb. and Day selerar. S. and S. ed. sellerar. The monk who 
had charge of the provisions.] 


officers so much for their parts as they have yearly ; and to 
The great exempt the abbot from his brethren, and to send him out of 

and shameful i i . . 

I^useof the abbey into such parks and places of pleasure, and give 
him a thousand, fifteen hundred, two thousand, or three 
thousand pounds yearly, to sport himself withal ? Nay, but 
when through hypocrisy they had gotten land enough, then 

pirchMed oT ^^^y turned unto the pope, and took dispensations both for 

the pope. their rules which were too hard for such abundance, and for 
the wills of their founders, and served a great sort of 
founders under one ^^er Dominum^, and divided among few 
that which was enough for a great multitude. 

It was the pope that devised all these fashions, to corrupt 
the prelates with abundance of worldly pleasures, of which he 
wist that the worst would be most greedy, and for which he 
wist also that he should find Judases enough, that would for- 
sake Christ and betray the truth, and be sworn false unto 

chopnins him and his Godhead. He maketh of many chauntries one, 

and changing «' ' 

used by the of au abbey a cathedral church, and out of the abbeys plucked 
he the bishopricks. And as bishops pay for their bulls, even 
so do an infinite number of abbots in Christendom, in all 
lands some ; which abbots be bishops within themselves, and 
immediately under the pope. And other abbots and priors 
send after the same ensample daily unto Home, to purchase 
licence to wear a mitre ^ and a cross, and gay ornaments, to 
be as glorious as the best, &c. And where, before God, no 
man is a priest but he that is appointed to preach Christ's 
gospel unto the people ; and the people ought not to give 
aught unto the spiritualty, but for the maintenance of the 

So'^'hl^^of P'^c^ching of God's word ; the pope taketh six or seven, yea, 
ten, twenty, and as many benefices as he listeth, and giveth 
them unto one that preacheth not at all ; as he doth all other 
dignities of the spiritualty. He that will purchase, and pay, 
and be sworn, shall have what he will. 

[1 Alluding to the ordinary conclusion of their prayers, viz.. Per 
Dominum, he means that they put all their benefactors into one prayer, 
to shorten their task.] 

[2 In the county of Gloucester alone there were six abbeys, whose 
abbots had obtained the pope's licence to wear mitres after the manner 
of bishops. — Anderson's Annals, B. i. ^ 1.] 

ig I 

beneficL-s by 
the pope, 


How they prove all their general Councils. 

When the bishops and abbots and other great prelates 
had forsaken Christ and his living, and were fallen down 
before the beast, the vicar of Satan, to receive their kingdom 
of him ; then the pope called together divers councils of such 
holy apostles, and there concluded and made of every opinion, 
that seemed profitable, an article of the faith. If thou ask 
where is the scripture to prove it ? they answer, * We be the ^^g p^urch 
church, and cannot err; and therefore,' say they, 'what wewlT?""^' 
conclude, though there be no scripture to prove it, it is as 
true as the scripture, and of equal authority with the scrip- 
ture, and must be behoved as well as the scripture under 
pain of damnation.' For, say they, ' Our truth dependeth 
not of the truth of the scripture;' that is, we be not true in 
our doing, because the scripture testifieth unto us that we do 
truly ; but contrary, ' The truth of the scripture (say they) ^^^^ ^^^^ 
dependeth of us : ' that is, the scripture is true, because that serlpurrfis^^ 
we admit it, and tell thee that it is true. For how couldst it"e^f"buf 
thou know that it were the scripture except we told thee so^? auo^wethand 

- . />!• p ^ approveth it. 

And thereiore we need no witness of the scripture tor that 

we do : it is enough, that we so say of our own head ; for we 

cannot err. Which reason is like as though young monks, a similitude. 

newly professed, should come by the rules of their order and 

ordinances of their old founders, and would go about to keep 

them ; and the old cankered monks should call them back 

unto the corrupt and false manner, that now is used, saying : 

' Ye err. Do only as we teach you, for your profession is 

to obey your elders,' ' According unto the rules of our 

order and ordinances of our founder,' shall they say. ' We 

can teach you no other,' shall the old monks say, ' nor can 

lie unto you : ye ought therefore to beheve us, and to do as 

[3 Nicolaus papa arcliiepiscopis, &c. per Gallias constitutis. — Quibus 
ad hsec asserendum est, quoniam si vetus novumque testamentum re- 
cipienda sunt, non quod codici canonum ex toto habeantur annexa, sed 
quod de his recipiendis Sti Papa; Innocentii prolata videatur esse sen- 
tentia, restat nimirum, quod decretales epistolse Rom. pontificum sunt 
recipiendse, etiamsi non sint codici canonum compaginata;, quoniam 
inter ipsos canones unum B. Leonis capitulum constat esse permistum, 
quo ita omnia decretalia constituta sedis apostolicse custodiri man- 
dantur, vel si quis in ilia commiserit, noverit sibi veniam denegari. — 
Deer. 1™^ pars. Dist. xix. c. 1.1 

[tyndale, Il.J 



This doc- 
trine the 
papists used 
in those days. 

The common 
saying and 
teaching of 
the papists. 

The abbots 
keep the 
monks in 
and the 
bishops the 
W. T. 

we bid you.' The young monks shall answer, ' We see that 
ye lie, clean contrary unto all that is written in our rules and 
ordinances.' The old monks shall say, * Ye cannot under- 
stand them except we expound them unto you, neither yet 
know that they be your rules, except that ye believe that we 
cannot lie unto you. For how can ye know that these be 
your rules and ordinances, but as we your elders tell you so ? 
Now when we tell you that these be your rules and ordi- 
nances, how can ye be sure undoubtedly, that it is so, except 
ye believe undoubtedly that we cannot lie ? Wherefore, if 
ye will be sure that they be your rules and ordinances, then 
ye must first believe that we cannot lie. Leave such ima- 
ginations and disputations therefore, and lay your rules and 
ordinances out of your hands, and look no more on them ; for 
they make you err : and come and do as we tell you, and 
captivate your wits, and believe that we cannot lie unto you, 
and that ye cannot understand your rules and ordinances.' 
Even so, if thou say it is contrary unto the scripture ; they 
answer, that thou understandest it not, and that thou must 
captive thy wit, and believe that, though it seem never so 
contrary, yet it is not contrary : no, if they determine that 
Christ is not risen again, and though the scripture testify that 
he is risen again, yet (say they) they be not contrary, if they 
be wisely understood. Thou must believe, say they, that 
there is some other meaning in the scripture, and that no 
man understandeth it. But that we say, whether without 
scripture, or against it, that must thou believe, that it is true. 
And thus, because that the scripture would not agree 
with them, they thrust it out of the way first, and shut up 
the kingdom of heaven, which is Christ's gospel, with false 
expositions, and with such sophistry, and with false principles 
of natural wisdom. And the abbots took the scripture from 
their monks, lest some should ever bark against the abbots' 
living ; and set up such long service and singing, to weary 
them withal, that they should have no leisure to read in the 
scripture but with their lips ; and made them good cheer to 
fill their bellies, and to stop their mouths. And the bishops 
in like manner, to occupy their priests withal, that they 
should not study the scripture for barking against them, set 
up long service, wondrous intricate, so that in a dozen years 
thou couldst scarce learn to turn aright unto it : long matins. 


long even-songs, long masses, long diriges, with vantage yet ^?','^J°™e* 
to mitigate the tediousness, quia levis est labor cum lucro ; ^^^''^^^■^^:^^ 
for 'lucre' (say they) 'maketh the labom^ light:' ever noselling 
them in ceremonies, and in their own constitutions, decrees, 
ordinances, and laws of holy church. 

And the promises and testament, which the sacrament of 
Christ's body and blood did preach daily unto the people, 
that they put out of knowledge ; and say now, that it is a 
sacrifice for the souls of purgatory, that they might the 
better sell their mass. And in the universities they have 
ordained that no man shall look on the scripture, until he be j^fverslu/s. 
noselled in heathen learning eight or nine years, and armed ^^•^• 
with false principles ; with which he is clean shut out of the 
understanding of the scripture. And at his first coming unto 
university he is sworn that he shall not defame the university, 
whatsoever he seeth. And when he taketh first degree, he is 
sworn that he shall hold none opinion condemned by the 
church ; but what such opinions be, that he shall not know. 
And then, when they be admitted to study divinity, because 
the scripture is locked up with such false expositions, and 
with false principles of natural philosophy, that they cannot 
enter in, they go about the outside, and dispute all their lives 
about words and vain opinions, pertaining as much unto the 
healing of a man's heel, as health of his soul : provided yet ^°x^°- 
alway, lest God give his singular grace unto any person, that 
none may preach except he be admitted of the bishops. Then 
came Thomas de Aquino, and he made the pope a god with st Thomas de 
his sophistry ; and the pope made him a saint for his labour, w. t. 
and called him doctor Sanctus^: for whose hohness no man 
may deny whatsoever he saith, save in certain places, where, 
among so many lies, he said now and then true. 

[1 The colophon to the work, which will provide us with evidence for 
what Tyndale has here affirmed, is as follows: Incipit Divi Thomse 
Aquinatis opus vigesimum; de regimine principum. And the tenth 
chapter of its third book is headed, Hie sanctus doctor declarat de 
dominio hominis secundum gradum et dignitatem: et primo de do- 
minie Papse qualiter prsefertur omni dominio. In this chapter Aquinas 
presently introduces Matt. xvi. 18, 19 ; and says of that text, Ubi 
quatuor ponuntur clausula;, omnes significativse dominii Petri suorum- 
que successonmi super omnes fideles ; et proi^ter quas nierito summus 
pontifex Romanus Christus dici potest, rex, et sacerdos. Si enim, 
etc.— Th. Aquin. Opusc. f. 231. Lugd. 1562.] 




Thomas of 


Becket and 





And in like manner, whosoever defendeth his traditions, 
decrees, and privileges, him he made a saint also for his labour, 
were his living never so contrary unto the scripture ; as 
Thomas of Canterbury ^ with many other like, whose life was 
like Thomas cardinal's 2, but not Christ's ; neither is Thomas 
cardinaPs life anything, save a counterfeiting of St Thomas of 
Canterbury. Thomas Becket was first seen^ in merchandise 
temporal ; and then, to learn spiritual merchandise, he gat 
him to Theobald archbishop of Canterbury ; which sent him 
divers times to Rome about business of holy church. And 
when Theobald had spied his activity, he shore him deacon*, 
lest he should go back ; and made him archdeacon of Canter- 
bury, and upon that presented him to the king. And the 
king made him his chancellor, in which office he passed the 
pomp and pride of Thomas cardinal, as far as the one''s shrine 
passeth the other's tomb in glory and riches. And after that 
he was a man of war, and captain over five or six thousand 
men in full harness, as bright as St George, and his spear in 
his hand ; and encountered whosoever came against him, and 
overthrew the jolHest rutter^ that was in all the host of 
France. And out of the field, hot from blood-shedding, was 
he made bishop of Canterbury, and did put off his helmet, 
and put on his mitre; put off his harness, and on with his 
robes ; and laid down his spear, and took his cross, ere his 
hands were cold ; and so came, with a lusty courage of 
a man of war, to fight another while against his prince 
for the pope^ ; where his prince's causes were with the 
law of God, and the pope's clean contrary. And the pomp 

[I Thomas Becket.] 

[2 Thomas Wolsey, the cardinal.] [3 Versed in.] 

[4 Made him submit to the clerical tonsure.] 

[5 From the old French ruitre; which was however imitated from 
the German reiter, a rider, especially a horse-soldier or knight.] 

['S Post reditum regis Anglise, comitibus omnibus rccusantibus, solus 
cancellarius [Becket] cum sua familia in Gallia remansit. Et postea tria 
castra munitissima, et quse inoxpugnabilia videbantur, ipsemet lorica 
indutus et galea cum suis in manu forti cepit. Ipsemet, clericus cum 
esset, cum valente milite Francorum, Engelramno de Tria, e regione 
subditis equo calcaribus veniente armato, lancea demissa et equo ad- 
misso congressus, ipsum equo dejecit, et dextrarium luci-ifecit. — Interim 
diem suum postremum clausit archiepiscojius Theobaldus. Statuit ergo 
rex Anglorum cancellarium suum in archiepiscopatum promovere. 


of his consecration was after his old worldly fashion. How- 
beit yet he is made a saint for his worshipping of the holy rew\?d?thhis 
seat of St Peter ; not that seat of Peter which is Christ's MgMy when 
gospel, but another, hed to be Peter's, and is indeed cathedra ""^^ ^^ ^^^^' 
pestiUntioi, a chair of false doctrine. And because he could 
no skill of our Lord's gospel, he said of matins with our lady. 
If any man understand the Latin, let him read his life, and 
compare it unto the scripture ; and then he shall see such 
hohness as were here too long to be rehearsed'^. And every 
abbey, and every cathedral church, did shrine them one god 
or other, and mingled the lives of the very saints with stark 
lies, to move men to offer : which thing they call devotion. 

And though in all their doings they oppress the tempo- 
ralty and their commonwealth, and be grievous unto the rich, 
and painful to the poor ; yet they be so many, and so ex- 
ercised in wiles, and so subtle, and so knit and sworn together, 
that they compass the temporalty, and make them bear them, 
whether they will or will not (as the oak doth the ivy), 
partly with juggling, and beside that with worldly policy, ^''^v- 
For every abbot will make him that may do most in the 
shire, or with the king, the steward of his lands, and give 
him a fee yearly ; and will lend unto some, and feast other, 
that by such means they do what they will. And little master Jf fit^[e'^"''^ 
parson, after the same manner, if he come into an house, and 
the wife be snout- fair, he will root himself there by one craft 
or other; either by using such pastime as the good man doth, 
or in being beneficial by one way or other, or he will lend 
him, and so bring him into his danger^ that he cannot thrust 
him out when he would, but must be compelled to bear him, 
and to let him be homely^, whether he will or no. 

intuitu meritorum personse; confidens quod sibi ad placitum at nutum 
ut cancellarius fecerat, arcliiepiscopus obsequeretur. — Sparkes, Hist. 
Angl. Scriptores varii e Cod. MSS. ed. Lond. 1723.] 

[7 In Day, our lady. Such as understand the Latin, read &c. But 
in the Marburg edition, ' and because he coude no skylle of our Lorde's 
gospell, he sayde of mates with our ladye say they. If any ma under- 
stond tlie Latyn, let him reade his life,' &c.] 

[8 A state of dependence.] [^ Domesticated.] 



An example of practice out of our own chronicles. 

Take an ensample of their practice out of our own stories. 
King Harold. King Ilarold exiled or banished Robert archbishop of Canter- 
crm/Anu-y. bury ^ : for what cause, the English Poljchronicon specifieth 
not : but if the cause were not somewhat suspect, I think 
they would not have passed it over with silence. This Robert 
gat him immediately unto king William the conqueror, then 
duke of Normandy : and the pope Alexander sent duke 
Remission of William a banner, to go and conquer England ^ and clean 

sins I 

Note here 
how well 

conquer rcmission unto whosoever would follow the banner, and go 
vv. T. -^vith king William. Here mark how straight the pope fol- 

lowed Christ's steps and his apostles' ! They preached for- 
christand giveucss of sins to all that repented, through Christ's blood- 
agre??christ sheddiug ; the pope preacheth forgiveness of sins to all that 
an'dthepoD^I will slay their brethren, bought with Christ's blood, to subdue 
them unto his tyranny. Whatsoever other cause duke William 
had against king Harold, thou mayest be sure that the pope 
would not have meddled, if Harold had not troubled his 
kingdom : neither should duke William have been able to 
conquer the land at that time, except the spiritualty had 
wrought on his side. What blood did that conquest cost 
England, through which almost all the lords of the English 
blood were slain, and the Normans became rulers, and all the 
The pope is laws wcre changed into French! But what careth the holy 
merdieS" father for sheddino; of laymen's blood ? It were better that 

tyrant. ^ 

ten hundred thousand lay knaves lost their lives, than that 

holy church should lose one inch of her honour, or St Peter's 

seat one jot of her right. 
Anseimusa And Auselmus, that was bishop in short time after, never 

the pope's, left Striving with that mighty prince king William the second, 

until he had compelled him, maugre his teeth, to deliver up 

[1 Robertus, Episcopus Londoniensis, genere Normannorum, (Ead- 
sino) successit; qui expulsus est de Anglia, et sedit annis duobus. 
Stepb. Birchington, Hist, de Archiep. Cantuar. ad ann. 1069. J 

[2 Willelmus dux Normannorum, ne justam bellandi causam te- 
meritas deformaret, ad papam Alexandrum nuntios destinavit, ut sus- 
ceptum negotium auctoritate apostolica firmaretur. Unde papa, con- 
sideratis utrinquc litigantium causis, vexillum Willelmo in omen regni 
transmisit. — Matt. Paris, Hist. Anglise.] 


the investiture or election of bishops unto St Peter's vicar, 
which investiture was of old time the king's duty^. 

And again, when the said king William would have had 
the tribute, that priests gave yearly unto their bishops for 
their whores, paid to him; did not Ealph bishop of Chichester xiiepopeis 
forbid God's service (as they call it), and stop up the church to admit 
doors with thorns, throughout all his diocese, until the king jjutnot'^"''^'' 
had yielded him up his tribute again^? For when the holy ^'^^*- 
father had forbode priests their wives, the bishops permitted 
them whores of their own, for a yearly tribute ; and do still 
yet in all lands save in England, where they may not have 
any other save men's wives only. 

And again, for the election of Stephen Langton, arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, what misery and wretchedness was in 
the realm a long season! Then was the land interdicted 
many years : and when that holp not, then Ireland rebelled 
against king John immediately ; and not without the secret 
workings of our prelates, I dare well say. But finally, when 
neither the interdicting neither that secret subtilty holp, and Note here 
when John would in no means consent that St Peter''s vicar wickedness of 
should reign alone over the spiritualty, and over all that 
pertained unto them, and that they should sin and do all 
mischief unpunished, the pope sent remission of sins to the Remission 
king of France, for to go and conquer his land^: whereof conquer, 
king John was so sore afraid, that he yielded up his crown to 
the pope, and sware to hold the land of liim, and that his 
successors should do so likewise. 

And again, in king Richard the second's days, Thomas Thomas 
Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury and chancellor, was exiled 
with the earl of Derby. The outward pretence of the variance 

[3 That is, the king's due, or right.] 

[* William of Malmesbury confirms part of this statement, though 
he does not say on what ground the money was to be paid. His words 
are these : Religiosam contumaciam mandatis Henrici regis exhibuit, 
Tolentis per totam Angliam a presbyteris pecuniam exigere. Id aliis 
vel concedentibus, vel metu silentium tenentibus, in solo Radulfo rigor 
pontiftcalis emolliri nequivit, per totam siquidem dicecesin divina 
vacare officia, januas ecclesiarum spinis obstrui prsecepit, monachorum 
cantum non inhibens, sed tamen laicis aditum arcens. He adds that 
the king gave way. — De Gest. Pontif. Angl. — Rer. Anglic. Script. 
Lond. 1596, fol. 146 vers.] 

[5 See n. 4, p. 339 Vol. i.] 



Practice of 

The pope's 
clergy are 
secret and 
subtle con- 


between the king and his lords was for the dehverance of the 
town of Brest in Britayne. But our prelates had another 
secret mystery a brewing. They could not at their own lust 
slay the poor wretches which at that time were converted 
unto repentance and to the true faith, to put their trust in 
Christ's death and blood-shedding for the remission of their 
sins, by the preaching of John Wicliffe. As soon as the 
archbishop was out of the realm, the Irishmen began to rebel 
against king Richard, as before against king John ; but not, 
hardly, without the invisible inspiration of them that rule both 
in the court and also in the consciences of all men. They be 
one kingdom, sworn together one to help another, scattered 
abroad in all realms. 

And howbeit that they strive among themselves who shall 
be greatest, yet against the temporal power they be always 
at one; though they dissemble it and feign, as though one held 
against the other, to know their enemy's secrets, to betray 
them withal. They can inspire privily into the breasts of the 
people what mischief they list, and no man shall know whence 
it Cometh. Their letters go secretly from one to another 
throughout all kingdoms. Saint Peter's vicar shall have word 
in fifteen or sixteen days from the uttermost part of Christen- 
dom. The bishops of England at their need can write unto 
the bishops of Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, Dutchland, France, 
and Spain, promising them as good a turn another time ; putting 
them in remembrance that they be all one holy church, and 
that the cause of the tone is the cause of the tother^; saying, 
' If our juggling break out, yours cannot be long hid.' And 
the other shall serve their turn, and bring the game unto 
their hands ; and no man shall know how it cometh about. 

As soon as king Richard was gone to Ireland, to subdue 
these rebelUons, the bishop came in again, and prevented the 
king, and took up his power against him, and took him 
prisoner, and put him down and to death most cruelly, and 
crowned the earl of Derby king. merciful Christ ! What 
blood hath that coronation cost England ! But what care 
they ? Their causes must be avenged. He is not worthy to 
be king, that will not avenge their quarrels. For do not the 
kings receive their kingdom of the beast, and swear to wor- 

[1 This antithetical form, tone and tother, is very common in Sir 
Thomas More, and other writers of that age.] 


ship him, and maintain his throne ? And then, when the earl The papisu 
of Derby, which was kina: Harry the fourth, was crowned, uifoVwars 
the prelates took his sword, and his son s Harry the fifth of ^lood. 
after him (as all the king's swords since), and abused them, 
to shed christian blood at their pleasure. And they coupled 
their cause unto the king's cause (as now), and made it 
treason to believe in Christ as the scripture teacheth, and to 
resist the bishops (as now), and thrust them in the king''s 
prisons (as now), so that it is no new invention that they now 
do, but even an old practice ; though they have done their 
busy care to hide their science, that their conveyance ^ should 
not be espied. 

And in king Harry the sixth's days, how raged they as 
fierce lions against good duke Humphry of Glocester, the ^^^^ 
king's uncle, and protector of the realm in the king's youth Humphry. 
and childhood, because that for him they might not slay whom 
they would, and make what chevisance^ they lusted! Would Papists are 
not the bishop of Winchester have fallen upon him and op- "^^^' 
pressed him openly with might and power in the city of 
London, had not the citizens come to his help ? 

But at the last they found means to contrive a drift to 
bring their matters to pass, and made a parliament far from a parliament 
the citizens of London, where was slain the good duke, and The'dtathof 
only wealth of the realm, and the mighty shield that so long ^Xof gio- 
before had kept it from sorrow, which shortly after his death tectoro'nhe 
fell thereon by heaps. But the chronicles cannot tell where- Engund. 
fore he died, nor by what means. No marvel, verily : for 
he had need of other eyes than such as the world seeth withal, 
that should spy out their privy paths. Nevertheless the 
chronicles testify, that he was a virtuous man, a godly, and 
good to the commonwealth. Moreover the proctor of pur- This is sir 
gatory saith in his dialogue. Quoth I, and quoth he, and "uor"]^^ 
quoth your friend, how that the foresaid duke of Glocester 
was a noble man and a great clerk, and so wise that he could 
spy false miracles, and disclose them, and judge them from the 
true ; ^ which is an hateful science unto our spiritualty, and 

[2 Sleight of hand ; fraudulent management.] 

[3 Bargain.] 

[■* Tyndale calls Sir Thomas More T7ie proctor of purgatory, in 
allusion to his controversial treatise entitled 'The supplication of souls,* 
which More composed in the form of an address ' To all good christen 


The clergy iDore abhorred amongst them than necromancy or witchcraft; 

cannot abide ■. , • ^ i> i i • i t i 

them that and a thma: wherefore a man by their law, 1 dare well say, is 

can judge O «/ ' _ t/ ' 

racies""'' worthy to die, and that secretly, if it be possible. Now to be 
Ihy'the'^^ good to the commonwealth, and to see false miracles, and 
Gtoc^esfer thirdly to withstand that France, then brought under the foot 
dered?""^' of the Englishmen, should not be set up again, by whose 
poAver the pope holdeth down the emperor and reigneth in 
his stead, be causes why he might die, though by what means 
Three causes, bo uot kuowu. For to be good to the commonwealth is to be 

W. T. . . . 

hurtful to the spiritualty, seeing the one is the other's prey, 
as the lamb is the wolfs. Secondarily, if a man be so clear- 
eyed that he can spy false miracles, how can jugglers get 
their living, and be in price, where such a fellow is ? Thirdly, 
to keep down the kingdom of France is to pull St Peter's 
vicar out of his seat. 
The pope is Now if the great bawd, the whore of Babylon, were de- 

Ba^byion?°^ stroycd, thou would the brothel and stews of our prelates 
shortly perish. If Abaddon, that destroyer, king of the 
grasshoppers which devour all that is green, were destroyed, 
then were the kingdom of our caterpillars at an end. 

By what craft the pope keepeth the emperor clown. 

Another Mark auothor practice of our most holy prelates. When 

preiatel° tho empire was translated unto the Germans, though the em- 
peror was fallen down, and had kissed the pope's feet, and 
was become his sworn servant, yet there was much strife, 
and open war oft-times, between the popes and the emperors. 
And the popes have put down many good emperors by help 
of the bishops, which everywhere secretly persuaded the lords 
to forsake the emperors, and to take dispensations of the pope 
for their oaths. 

And contrariwise, the emperors have now and then de- 
people* from their 'late acquaintance, kindred, spouses, companions, 
playfellows, and friends — now poor prisoners, the silly souls in pur- 
gatory.' But the ' dialogue of Sir Thomas More' is another work, and 
is kept up by a repetition of Quoth I and quoth he ; and in the four- 
teenth chapter of the first of its four books. More relates, as what he 
had heard from his father, the well-known tale of duke Humphry's 
detecting the imposture, of a beggar who pretended to have been 
miraculously healed of blindness at St Alban's shrine. — Works of Sir 
T. More, Lond. 1557, p. 134.] 


posed divers popes, at the request of the cardinals and other J^sed^''^ 
great prelates ; by whose help only they were able to do it. f^jfukewise 
For else verily, though all kings christened had sworn to h™v^e''deposed 
depose one pope out of his seat, if they had not the favour of ^"^^^ 
other prelates thereto, they might haply, by the secret practice 
of them, be put out of their own seats in the mean time. 

The pope therefore, to be sure of himself, and out of the 
fear and danger of the emperor, were he never so mighty, 
and that the emperor should not see his daily open pastimes, 
made friendship and amity with the Venetians on the one 
side of him, and let them come into certain cities of the 
emperor's in Italy ; and with the French king on the other 
side, and let him also up into certain cities and possessions of 
the emperor's, and he himself in the midst ; and shut out the 
emperor from coming any more to Rome, and ever sent his 
coronation home to him. And then he made a law that 
no man should rebuke the pope for whatsoever he did ; no man 

^ ^ , rebuke the 

saying, that the pope was above all, and judge over all, pope- w. t. 
and none over him ; and therefore forbad in his law, Dis- 
tinctio, xl. Si Papa, saying, " Though the pope be proved 
negligent about himself, and also the soul-health of his bre- 
thren, and slack in his works, and speechless as concerning 
any good, and draw with him by his example innumerable 
people to hell, to be punished with him with divers torments 
everlastingly ; yet see that no mortal man presume once to 
rebuke his faults here : for he shall judge all men, and no 
man him ^" antichrist ! Is he not antichrist, that will 
not have his life tried by God's word ? 

If the Venetians catch any of our holy father's towns or 
possessions, whether by war, or that they have bought it, or Venetians, 
that it be laid to mortgage unto them, or that the old pope 
hath given it with the marriage of some daughter unto the The pope 
duke of Venice ; then the holy father that succeedeth, when Ske fglfn "** 
he seeth his season, sendeth for it again, saying, ' That it is and piSlsLre. 
not lawful for laymen to withhold St Peter's patrimony.' If 
they allege that they bought it, and so forth, his fatherhood 
answereth, ' That the old pope had none authority to make 
any such chevisance with St Peter's inheritance : he could 
have but the use of it his life long, and after it must needs 
return unto his successor again.' And upon that he interdict- 
[1 See n. 3 to p. 328 of Vol. i ] 


eth them, and curseth them as black as coals, down to the 
pit of hell. 
TheVene- But the Venetians, knowing more of our holy father's 

tians care not ^ _ _ ' O _ « 

cu^rsing^nor ^ practico, for their nighness, than we which dwell afar off, and 

blessing. -^viser than we of cold countries, perceiving also that their colour 
changeth not with his cursing, and that they sink not, and 
that their meat digesteth as well as before ^ therefore fear 
not his interdiction nor excommunication. 

Then our holy father raiseth up all the power that he is 
able to make in Italy against them, and sendeth for the 
Souchenars^ to come and help. If he be not yet strong 
enough, then he sendeth unto the bishops of France, warning 
them that if his seat decay, theirs cannot long prosper ; and 
therefore that they put their king in remembrance, how that 
he is called most Christian king, and that they desire him to 
do somewhat for his title against this disobedient rebellion 
unto the most holy see of Rome, our mother, holy church. 

Frenchmen.^ If auothcr timo tho Frenchmen come to our holy father, 
as they be ever gaping for Italy, to bring the empire home 
again to France ; then that most holy vicar bringeth his 
whole power against them, with the power of the Venetians, 
and with his old friends the Souchenars^. If he be not yet 

Englishmen, stroug cnough, then he sendeth to the bishops of England to 
help their god, and to move their king to do somewhat for 
holy church, putting him in remembrance of whom he holdeth 
his crown, and of his oath, and how many caps of maintenance 

The practice t^nn-i-i-ii 

of the pope have been ever sent unto his forefathers, and what honour it 

with all , ' 

^rilces"** was unto them, and that he may easily get as great honour as 
they, and haply a more excellent title, if he will take our holy 
father's part ; besides that he shall purchase remission of all 
his sins. 
The pope a Thcu must the peace, and all the appointments made be- 

pelce."°^ tween us and France, be broken, and the king must take a 
dispensation for his oath. For the king of France will at- 
tempt nothing in Italy, until he have sent his ambassadors, 
and have made a perpetual peace with our king, the sacrament 

[1 A coarse expression, which Tyndale says he borrowed from 
Erasmus, is here omitted.] 

[2 Souchenars, Marb. ed. ; Zwitzers, S. S. ed. ; Sochenars, Day. By 
each of these terms the Swiss are meant. See Vol. i. p. 186. n. 1.] 

[3 S. S. ed. has here Zwitzers, again.] 


of the body of our Saviour broke between them to confirm the 
appointment. But I suppose that the breaking signifieth that The abuse of 
the appointment shall not long endure : for a great deal of '"*'"'• 
flour would not make so many hosts (as they call them), or 
singing loaves*, as hath been broken in our days between 
Christian princes (as they will be called), to confirm promises 
that have not been kept. Other use of that blessed sacrament 
will the princes none know : but Christ ordained it to be a 
perpetual memory that his body was broken for our sins upon 
the cross, and that all that repent should receive, as oft as 
they eat of it, forgiveness of their misdeeds through faith. 
If the kings of the earth, when they break that sacrament 
between them, do say on this wise, 'The body of our Saviour 
(which was broken on the cross for the sin of all that repent, how the sa- 
and have good hearts, and would fain keep his law) be broke Thouw be 
unto my damnation, if I break this oath ;' then is it a terrible tween kmgs 
oath, and they had need to take heed how they make it, and, 
if it be lawfully made, not to break it at all. But as they 
care for their oath, which they make in wedlock, so they care 
for this. 

"Whatsoever need the pope hath, he will not send to the 
emperor to come and help him in Italy, for fear lest he would 
take to himself whatsoever he conquered of the Frenchmen, The pope 

_ ^ A ' would not 

and wax too strong, and minish our holy father's power, and '^ero/toV"" 
become our holy father's vicar, as he is St Peter's. Never- ^"°°^' 
theless, if we Englishmen will hire the emperor to come and 
fight against France, for the right of the church in these 
quarters that be next unto us, his fatherhood is content to 
admit his service. 

When our king hath granted to take our holy father's 
part, then the pretence and cloak outward must be, that the 
king will challenge his right in France. And, to aid the king 
in his right, must the commons be milked till they bleed again. 
Then, to do the king service, the lords sell, or lay their lands 
to mortgage. Then is clean remission given, to slay French Remission of 
dogs. He that dieth in the quarrel shall never see purgatory, ciean^i'eiiver- 

i7/i,i -1 -1 , 1 AO ./ aneeoutof 

but fly to heaven straight, even with a thought. purgatory. 

[} Loaves ; though spelt in the oldest editions loves. The thin 
loaves, or wafers of meal, intended to be used at mass were called 
singing loaves, because a psalm was to be sung whilst they were in 



When the pope hath what he desireth in Italy, then must 
■we make peace with the Frenchmen again immediately, that 
France be not altogether trodden under the foot ; but that it 
remain alway in a mean state, strong enough to match the 
emperor and to keep him down, but not too mighty for 
oppressing the pope. And then our prelates, to bring the 
peace about, send immediately a friar Forest, or a vicar of 

A friar Fo- Croydou, to preach before the king and his lords; which 

vicarofcroy- preacher roareth and crieth unto them, as though he hallooed 
his hounds, aud maketh exclamations, saying : 'Alas ! what will 

Popish prac- ye do? Spare Christian blood. Will ye slay your own souls? 
Be not the Frenchmen as well Christians as ye ? Moreover, 
ye slay poor innocents that never offended. Make peace for 
the passion of Christ. Kill not one another, as though Christ 
had not died for you ; but fight rather against the Turks.' 

Then come in the ambassadors of France, and money ' a 
few prelates, and certain other the king's play-fellows, that be 
sworn with them to betray both the king and the realm too ; 

Dissembled and thou is peace concluded. But outwardly there is nothing 
save a truce taken for half an year, till our soldiers be at 
home again, for fear lest they would not be content. Then 
cometh the whole host home beggared, both great and small ; 
and the poor, that cannot suddenly get work, fall to stealing, 
and be hanged at home. This could More tell in his Utopia, 
before he was the cardinal's sworn secretary, and fallen at his 
feet to betray the truth for to get promotion 2. 

Henry V. Take an example: the bishops sent king Henry the fifth 

out to conquer France. The cause was, saitli the chronicles, 
that the king went about to take their temporalities from them ; 

[1 Money, i. e. bribe.] 

[2 In the introductory dialogue to his Utopia, More represents a 
foreign voyager as describing a conversation at Cardinal Moreton's table, 
and saying: Laicus quidam. ..dicebat se mirari, cum tarn pauci elaberen- 
tur supplicio, quo malo fato fieret uti tam multi tamen ubique grassa- 
rentur. Turn ego, Nihil mireris, inquam : nam liajc punitio furum et 
supra justum est, et non ex usu publico. Est enim ad vindicanda 
furta nimis atrox, nee tamen ad refrajnanda sufFiciens. Seepe vel ab 
externis bellis vel civilibus mutili redeunt domum, ut nuper apud vos a 
Cornubiensi prselio, et non ita pi-idem a Gallico, qui vel roipublicse im- 
pendunt membra vel regi, quos neque pristinas artes exercere debilitas 
patitur, neque setas novam discere. Utopia. Lib. i.] 

THE pope's policy. 303 

and therefore, to bring the king into another imagination, 
thej monied him, and sent him into France^. 

When they had sent out the king, he conquered more King Henry 
than was their will, and more than they supposed possible for more'thM ^"^ 
him in so short space, and brought France clean under the thouoht'he* 
foot ; so that our prelates had much secret business to set it 
up again. But what is impossible unto so great gods ? 

In king Henry's the sixth days, our holy father of Rome Henry vi. 
made the bishop of Winchester a cardinal; which went shortly 
after into France, to treat of a truce between England and 
France. And him met a legate of Rome, and cardinal also : 
after which meeting Englishmen had ever the worse in France, 
and their chiefest friend, the duke of Burgaine*, forsook them^. 
For when cardinals and bishops meet together, they have The crafty 
their secret council by themselves, wherein they conclude thrpope°s^ 
neither what is good for England, nor yet for France, but what ^^*^" 
is best for our holy father's profit, to keep him in his state. 

When king Henry was of age, there was a marriage 
between him and the earl of Armainacke's^ daughter, in 
Gyan'^; with the which should have been given many castles 
and towns in Gyan, and a great sum of money thereto. But 
that marriage was broken, not without the secret working 
of our prelates, and dispensation of our holy father, thou 

[3 'This year [1513] the king [Henry V.] held his parhament at 
Leicester, where among other things the foresaid hill put up by the 
commons of the land, for the temporalities being in the church, was 
again minded: in fear whereof, lest the king should thereunto give any 
comfortable audience, as testify some writers, certain bishops and other 
head men of the church put the king in mind to claim his right in 
France, and for the exploit thereof they offered unto him great and 
notable sums. By reason whereof the said bill was again put by, and 
the king set his mind to the recovery of the same.' — Extract from a 
copy of Fabian's chronicle in the library of St John's College, Cam- 
bridge ; having on its fly-leaf the following note in the hand-writing 
of Baker the antiquarian. " This is the first and uncastrated edition 
of Fabian, said to be burned by order of cardinal Wolsey. — Bal. cent, 
vm. 62."] 

[4 Burgundy.] 

[5 This had been the subject of Art. xiv. in a list of 21 charges 
against cardinal Beaufort, bishop of Winchester, presented to Henry VI. 
by Humphry duke of Glocester, as printed in Foxe's Acts and Mon. 
B. VI.] 

[6 Ai-magnac] ['^ Guienne.] 


mayest be sure; and a marriage was made between him 

The marriage and the king's daughter of Sicily, for which England 

Henry VI. gavc up the wholo dukedom of Gyan and earldom of Maine : 

whereby we lost all Normandy, whereof they were the key ' ; 

and beside that, the commons gave a fifteen and an half 2, to 

fetch ^ her in with pomp. And then was the good duke of 

Gtoce^tef"^ Glocester traitorously murdered; partly because he could judge 

murdwedl^ falsc miraclcs, and partly because of the deliverance of these 

two countries : for, he being alive, they durst not do it. 

And when king Edward had put down king Harry, a 
marriage was made and concluded between him and the king 
of Spain, this queen's mother that now is*. But ere the am- 
bassadors were come home, our prelates had bewitched king 
FiiarBungay. Edward by their apostle, friar Bungay^, and married him unto 

[^ Tyndale seems to have thought that, as Armagnac was an im- 
portant part of the dutchy of Guienne, the castles &c. given with the 
count's daughter would have enabled the king of England to secure 
possession of the whole. It is well known that there was great popular 
indignation at the setting aside of this match for one with Margaret 
daughter of Regnier, a French prince who bore the titles of duke 
of Anjou, and king of Sicily, Naples and Jerusalem, Avithout possess- 
ing any corresponding territories.] 

[2 A fifteenth was originally a tax to the amount of that portion of 
the estimated value of every householder's property in moveables. But 
in the sixth year of Edward III. it was commuted on terms which fixed 
its amount at no more than £37,930 for all England. — HoUingshed. 
Vol. I. p. 230. and Blackstone's Comment, pp. 308 — 9.] 

[3 Fol. and S. S. ed. fette.] 

[■* The princess here meant must have been Isabella, Queen of 
Castile, who afterwards married Ferdinand of Aragon, and became 
mother to Catharine, the first wife of Hem-y VIII. Sir Thomas More 
says, that ' after king Edward was in peaceable possession of the realm, 
he sent over in embassiate the earl of Warwick to entreat and conclude 
a marriage between king Edward and the king's daughter of Spain. 
In which thing the earl of Warwick found the parties so toward, that 
he speedily brought the matter to a very good conclusion.' Hist. Rich. 
III. Works, Lend. 1557. p. 58. Tyndale seems to have used the word 
king here as rex has been used, to distinguish a queen regnant from a 
queen consort. The cry of the Hungarian magnates, * Vivat rex noster, 
Maria Theresa,' has been admitted into history.] 

[5 In the first edition of Fabian's Chronicle, after relating the events 
of the battle of Barnet, in 1471, he says: " Of the mists and other im- 
pediments which fell upon the lord's party, by reason of the incanta- 
tions by friar Bungay, as the fame went, we list not to write." fol. ccxxiii.] 


a widow that was a knight's wife; lest, if Spain and England 
had been joined together, king Edward should have recovered 
France again. But what followed after the breaking oif the 
marriage between king Edward and the earl of Warwick ? cruei war 
And what came of his children ? Yea, and what came on i<?ng Henry 
king Henry of Windsor's children also? But what care our of Warwick.. 
prelates, what vengeance or mischief fall on princes, or on 
their realms, so their kingdom prosper ? 

In king Henry the seventh's days the cardinal Morton 
and bishop Fox of Winchester delivered unto the king's grace confession in 
the confessions of as many lords as his grace lusted. Whoso- a^wicked"^ 
ever was mistrusted, if he shrove himself at the Charter-houses, '"^^"*'°"- 
Sion, Greenwich, at St John's, or wheresoever it was, the 
confessor was commanded by the authority of the pope to 
deliver his confession written, and sworn that it was all. And 
cardinal Morton had a hcence of the pope for fourteen to Licence of 
study necromancy, of which he himself was one; and other I forfouneen 
have heard named, which at this time I pass over with silence, cromancy. 
And how the holy friars observants carried feigned letters, to 
try who was true, I pass over with silence also. Howbeit, 
such temptations and feigned proffers were enough to move 
them that never would have thought amiss : yea, and in con- 
fession men will shrive themselves of thoughts, which they 
never went about in the outward deed. 

When any great man is put to death, how his confessor 
entreateth him, and what penance is enjoined him, concerning 
what he shall say when he cometh unto the place of exe- 
cution, I could guess at a practice that might make men''s 
ears glow. 

And did not the subtle counsel of the said two prelates a subtle 
feign the siege of Boulogne, to make a pretence to gather in preutel." 
a fifteen, when there was no more war between the king 
of France and of England than is between a man's head, 
that hath lust to sleep, and his pillow^? which siege yet cost 
many a man their lives, yea, and some great men thereto, 

[<5 Grafton's Chronicle tells how Henry VII. gathered treasure by 
this threat of war, but ascribes the preparations to an object in which 
our king was deceived by Maximilian. His account, however, is in 
unison with Tyndale as to the desire of the French king Charles 
VIII. to remain at peace with England.] 

r -1 20 

[tyndale, II. J 

He meaneth 




which knew not of that feigning'. The king's grace went 
over with a ten thousand men to conquer all France, and 
spent haply an hundred thousand pound, of which he saved 
the fourth part in the dandy prats 2, and gathered at home five 
or six hundred, or more. And two other such feigned 
voyages could I haply rehearse, which I pass over for divers 
causes, where many an Englishman lost his life. But what 
care they for men's lives ? 

And did not our cardinal with like pohcy, think ye, (to 
gather that which he thought would not well be paid, except 
the commons saw some cause,) bring a great multitude of Scots 
unto the English pale, either by some bishops of Scotland, or 
by some great man whom he corrupted with some yearly 
pension? — against which the poor northern men must go on 
their own cost, to keep them out. And general procession was 
commanded at London thrice in the week, and throughout all 
the land, while the king's receivers gathered the tax of the 
common people. Which plague, and such like, after the 
Lev. xxvi. thrcatenino; of God, Lev. xxvi. and Dent, xxviii. and xxix., I am 

Deut. xxviii. O ' 

xxix. gyj^Q y^\\\ fall on all Christendom without cease, until they 

either defy the name of Christ with the Turks ; or, if they 
will be called Christians, they turn and look on his doc- 

Yea, and what feigned the cardinal at that great loan, to 
beguile his own priests, to make them swear what they were 
worth, and the better willing to pay ! for the common priests 
be not so obedient unto their ordinaries that they will pay 
money, except they know why. Now it is not expedient that 
every rascal^ should know the secrets of the very true cause, 
for many considerations ; and therefore another pretence 

A practice of must bo made, and another cause alleged : and therefore 

the prelates ^ ... i /• 

poo*? ^'ife^ts ^^*® priests were charged by their ordinaries to appear before 
the gentlemen of the country*, and temporal officers, and 
swear what every man was worth. Now the priests had lever 
be slain, and die martyrs, after the ensample of St Thomas of 

[1 Grafton says, 'There was few or none killed, saving only one sir 
John Savage, knt.,' and ascribes his death to his folly and pride.] 

[2 The word is spelt dandeprats in Bailey's Dictionary, where 
the meaning given is a dwarf, or a small coin issued by Henry VII.] 

[3 That is, every unimportant personage.] 

[* So Marb. ed. and Day; but in S. and S. it is of tlie court.] 


Canterbury, than to swear before a lay judge^; for they think 
it greater sin than to slay their own fathers, and that then 
the liberties of the church were clean lost, and they no better 
than the vile lay people. And when they were in that per- 
plexity, that they must either swear, or run into the king's 
danger, and lose their gods (I would say their goods); then 
my lord cardinal sent down his gracious power, that they 
should swear unto their ordinaries only. And then the priests, 
for joy that they were rid out of the laymen's hands, were so 
glad and joyous, that they wist not what thanks to give my 
lord cardinal, and so were obedient to swear, and to lend; or 
else for all the curses that my lord cardinal hath, and the pope 
too, they would neither have sworn, or paid a penny. 

The practice of oui* time. 

When the king's grace came first to the right of the Thomas 
crown, and unto the governance of the realm, young and un- °^'^^" 
expert, Thomas Wolfsee, a man of lust and courage and bodily 
strength, to do and to suffer great things, and to endure in all 
manner of voluptuousness ; expert and exercised in the course 
of the world, as he which had heard, read, and seen much 
policy, and had done many things himself, and had been of 
the secret counsel of weighty matters, as subtle as Sinon that The de- 
betrayed Troy ; utterly appointed to semble and dissemble, ^J"^*' 
to have one thing in the heart and another in the mouth, 
being thereto as eloquent as subtle, and able to persuade 
what he lusted to them that were unexpert ; so desirous and 
greedy of honour, that he cared not but for the next and most 
compendious way thereto, whether godly or ungodly ; this 
wily wolf, I say, and raging sea, and shipwreck of all Eng- 
land, though he shewed himself pleasant and calm at the first 
(as whores do unto their lovers), came unto the king's grace, 
and waited upon him, and was no man so obsequious and ser- 
viceable, and in all games and sports the first and next at hand ; 
and as a captain to courage other, and a gay finder out of 
new pastimes, to obtain favour withal^. 

[5 Because the canon law says, Clei'icum cujusHbet ordinis absque 
pontificis sui peraiissu nullus prsesumat ad secularem judicem attrahere, 
nee laico quemlibet clericum liceat accusare. — Corp. Jui". Can. Deer. 
2^^. pars, II. qu. 1. can. 3.] 

[c His attached dependent and biographer George Cavendish has 


birth calked 
by the car 


The king's And thereto, as the secret communication went, which by 

birth calked ' «' 

many tokens thou may est well conjecture and gather to be 
true, he calked^ the king's nativity and birth, (which is a 
Bishops ^ common practice among prelates in all lands;) whereby he saw 
nativitief wliereuuto the king's grace should be inchned all his life, and 

W. T. a o 

what should be like to chance him at all times. 

And, as I heard it spoken of divers, he made by craft of 

necromancy graven imagery to bear upon him; wherewith he 

bewitched the king's mind, and made the king to dote upon 

him more than ever he did on any lady or gentlewoman; so 

King Henry that now the kiug's grace followed him, as he before followed 

cardinal" tho king. Aud then, what he said, that was wisdom ; what 

great estima- ho praisod, that was honourable only. Moreover, in the 

meantime he spied out the natures and dispositions of the 

king's play- fellows, and of all that were great ; and whom he 

spied meet for his purpose, him he flattered, and him he made 

faithful with great promises, and to him he sware, and of hira 

he took an oath again, that the one should help the other : 

for without a secret oath he admitted no man unto any part 

of his privities. 

And ever as he grew in promotions and dignity, so 
gathered he unto him of the most subtle-witted, and of them 
that were drunk in the desire of honour, most like unto him- 
The manner sclf : and after they were sworn, he promoted them, and with 
great promises made them in falsehood faithful, and of them 
ever presented unto the king's grace, and put them into his 
service, saying, ' This is a man meet for your grace.' And by 
The km| is tlioso spics, if aught were done or spoken in the court against 
the cardinal, of that he had word within an hour or two; 

ascribed Wolsey's influence to the same sinful course. Speaking of 
Wolsey when he was but dean of Lincoln, and the king's almoner, 
he says : " He was most earnest and readiest among all the council to 
advance the king's only will and pleasure, without any respect to 
the case. The king was young and lusty, disposed all to mirth and 
pleasure, and to follow his desire and appetite, nothing minding to 
ti'avail in the busy affairs of this realm. The which the almoner 
perceiving very well, took upon him therefore to disburden the king 
of so weighty a charge and troublesome business, putting the king in 
comfort that he should not need to spare any time of his pleasure for 
any business that should necessarily happen in the council." Caven- 
dish's Life of Wolsey, 1825. Vol. i. p. 18.] 
[1 Calked: calculated.] 

and practice 
of cardinal 

W. T. 


and then came the cardinal to court with all his magic, to 
persuade the contrary. If any in the court had spoken 
against the cardinal, and the same not great in the king's 
favour, the cardinal bade him walk a villain 2, and thrust him 
out of the court headlong. If he were in conceit with the 
king's grace, then he flattered, and persuaded, and corrupted 
some with gifts, and sent some ambassadors, and some he made 
captains at Calais, Hames, Guines, Jersey, and Guernsey, or 
sent them to Ireland, and into the north ; and so occupied 
them, till the king had forgot them, and other were in their 
rooms, or till he had sped what he intended. 

And in like manner played he with the ladies and gentle- The queen 

I- tl O IS betrayed. 

women. Whosoever of them was great, with her was he ^- '^• 
familiar, and to her gave he gifts : yea, and where St Thomas 
of Canterbury was wont to come after, Thomas cardinal went 
oft before, preventing his prince, and perverted the order of 
that holy man. If any were subtle-witted, and meet for his Note this 
purpose, her made he sworn to betray the queen likewise, and practice. 
tell him what she said or did. I know one that departed the 
court for no other cause, than that she would no longer betray 
her mistress. 

And, after the same example, he furnished the court with 
chaplains of his own sworn disciples, and children of his own 
bringing up, to be alway present, and to dispute of vanities, 
and to water whatsoever the cardinal had planted. If among 
those cormorants any yet began to be too much in favour 
with the king, and to be somewhat busy in the court, and to 
draw any other way than as my lord cardinal had appointed 
that the plough should go, anon he was sent to Italy or to 
Spain ; or some quarrel was picked against him, and so was 
thrust out of the court, as Stokesly was. 

He promoted the bishop of Lincoln that now is^, his most The bishop 
faithful friend and old companion, and made him confessor : 
to whom of whatsoever the king's grace shrove himself, think 
ye not that he spake so loud that the cardinal heard it ? And 
not unright ; for as God's creatures ought to obey God and 

[2 The expression seems to have been equivalent to 'Begone, vile 
man.' We find in like manner, ' Walk, faytour ;' for, ' Begone, impostor.'] 

[3 John Longland, principal of Magdalen Hall, Oxford, was made 
bishop of Lincoln in 1521, and so continued till 1547. He was a fierce 
persecutor of the protestants.] 


serve his honour, so ought the pope's creatures to obey the 

pope and serve his majesty. 
Cardinal Finally, Thomas Wolfsee became what he would, even 

aitogeSier.^ portor of lieavon, so that no man could enter into promotion 

but through him. 

The cause of all that we have suffered these twenty years. 

About the beginning of the king's grace that now is, 
France was mighty, so that I suppose that it was not mightier 

King Lewis, tliis fivo hundred years. King Lewis^ of France had won 
Naples, and had taken Bononia from St Peter's see. Where- 

PopeJuUus. fore pope July^ was wroth, and cast how to bring the 
Frenchmen down, yet soberly, lest, while he brought him 
lower, he should give an occasion to lift up the emperor 
higher. Our first voyage into Spain was to bring the French- 

Thi^s^istrue j^gj^ lower: for our meyny^ were set in the fore- front and 
borders of Spain, toward Gascoyne, partly to keep those 
parties, and partly to fear the Gascoynes and to keep them 
at home, while in the meantime the Spaniards won Naverne*. 
When Naverne was won, our men came to house, as many as 
died not there ; and brought all their money home again, save 
that they spent there. Howbeit, for all the loss of Naverne, 
the Frenchmen were yet able enough to match Spain, the 
Venetians, and the pope, and all the Souchenars* that he 
could make ; so that there was yet no remedy but we must set 
on the Frenchmen also, if they should be brought out of Italy. 

Then pope July wrote unto his dear son Thomas 
Wolfsee, that he would be as good, as loving, and as helping 

[1 Louis XII.J 

[2 Julius II. pope from 1503 to 1513.] 

[3 Meyny : many, a mixed multitude.] 

[4 Naverne is Navarre. In March 1511, Henry sent 1000 archers to 
the aid of Ferdinand, as if to help him in combating the Moors; but 
they were employed as Tyndale states. In the following November 
Henry avowed a league with Ferdinand, and sent him a farther rein- 
forcement. Their proposed object was to aid pope Julius to recover 
Bologna &c. by obliging Louis to draw off his forces from Italy ; but 
the result was the conquest of Navarre by the Spanish monarch. — 
Sh. Turner's Hen. VIII. B. i. ch. v. and Rymer's Fcedera, Vol. xni. 
p. 342.] 

[5 In the S. and S. edition they are called Zwitzers, as in the 
previous mention of the same people.] 

wolsey's policy. 311 

to holy church as any Thomas ever was, seeing he was as 
able. Then the new Thomas, as glorious as the old, took the The new 
matter in hand and persuaded the king's grace. And then w. t.^"' 
the king's grace took a dispensation for his oath, made upon 
the appointment of peace between him and the French king, J^|^j™'g;'"^ 
and promised to help the holy seat, wherein pope Peter never Sen^y"viii. 
sat. But the emperor Maximilian might in no wise stand still, '"* ^"'^'>'^''- 
lest the Frenchmen should money him, and get aid of him, see- 
ing^ the Almains refuse not money whencesoever it be proffered : 
then quoth ^ Thomas Wolfsee, ' Oh, and like your grace, what 
an honour should it be unto your grace if the emperor were 
your soldier! So great honour never chanced any king 
christened ; it should be spoken of while the world stood ; 
the glory and honour shall hide and darken the cost, that it 
shall never be seen, though it shall cost half your realm !' 
Dixit et factum est^. It was even so. And then a parlia- 
ment, and then pay : and then upon the French dogs, with ^/^,;f °" 
clean remission of all his sins that slew one of them ; or if he w. t. 
be slain, (for the pardons have no strength to save in this 
life, but in the life to come only,) then to heaven straight 
without feeling of the pains of purgatory ^. 

Then came our king with all his might, by sea and by 
land, and the emperor with a strong army, and the Spaniards, 
and the pope, and the Venetians, all at once against king 
Lewis of France. As soon as the pope had that he desired in 
Italy, then peace immediately : and Frenchmen were christian ^ote ijeie 
men ; and pity, yea, and great sin also, were it to shed their f^^"^^^^^^ 
blood ; and the French king was ' The most christian king ' 

[6 So M. and S. S. ed. but Day since.] 

[^ Old editions, quod.] 

[8 He spake and it was done. " The emperor Maximilian con- 
descended to become one of Henry's soldiers for a hundred crowns 
a day." — Sharon Turner, B. i. eh. v.] 

[^ In the "Articuli bullre concessse regi ct proficisccntibus cum eo ad 
bcllum contra Ludovicum Francorum regem," 1512, the second clause is 
as follows : Item qui in castris aut locis dictorum exercituum aliquod 
opus ad expeditionem hujusmodi necessarium vel opportunum fecerint, 
aut victualia vel alia necessaria pro opere expeditionis hujusmodi coni- 
morantium per se vel alium detulerint, simili modo plenissimam 
remissionem consequantm- : — where the words 'simili modo' must be 
understood to imply the same thing as was expressed in the words 
"omnium peccatorum suorum de quibus corde contriti et ore confessi 
fuerint," in the fii'st clause. — See Rymer, Vol. xiii. p. 343.] 



How king 
Henry VIII. 
with all his 
army was 

again. And thus was peace concluded, and our Englishmen, 
or rather sheep, came home against winter, and left their 
fleeces behind them. Wherefore no small number of them, 
while they sought them better raiment at home, were hanged 
for their labour. 

The prelates 
see ever be- 
what is like 
to follow. 

Papists are 
great fore- 
casters of 

Why the king's sister was turned unto France. 

When this peace was made, our holy cardinals and bishops 
(as their old guise is to calk and cast forty, fifty, yea, an 
hundred years before, what is like to chance unto their king- 
dom) considered how the emperor that now is^ was most 
like to be chosen emperor after his grandfather Maximilian ; 
for Maximilian had already obtained of divers of the electors 
that it should so be. 

They considered also how mighty he should be : first 
king of Spain, with all that pertaineth thereto, which was 
wont to be five, six, or seven kingdoms ; then duke of Bur- 
gaine, earl of Flanders, of Holland, Zealand, and Brabande, 
with all that pertain thereto ; then emperor ; and his brother 
duke of Austria ; and his sister queen of Hungary. Where- 
fore, thought our prelates, if we take not heed betimes, our 
kingdom is hke to be troubled, and we to be brought under 
the feet. For this man shall be so mighty, that he shall with 
power take out of the French king's hands, out of the hands 
of the Venetians, and from the pope also, whatsoever pertain- 
eth unto the empire, and whatsoever belongeth unto his other 
kingdoms and dominions thereto ; and then will he come to 
Rome and be crowned there ; and so shall he overlook our 
holy father and see what he doth : and then shall the old 
heretics rise up again, and say that the pope is antichrist, and 
stir up again, and bring to light, that we have hid and brought 
asleep with much cost, pain, and blood- shedding, more than this 
hundred years long. [They] considered also that his aunt is 
queen of England, and his wife the king of England's sister 2; 
considered the old amity between the house of Burgaine and 
the old kings of England, so that they could never do aught 

[1 Charles V.] 

[2 Henry's sister Mary had been affianced, and actually married by 
proxy, Dec. 17, 1508, to Charles, prince of Spain, the boy who was to 
inherit so many kingdoms. The documents are in Rymer, Tom. xiii. 
pp. 171-215, 219—31, 236—9.] 


in France without their help ; and last of all considered the 
course of merchandise that England hath in those parts, and 
also the natural hate that Englishmen bear to Frenchmen. 
Wherefore, if we shall use our old practice, and set the French 
king against him, then he shall hghtly obtain the favour of 
the king of England, by the means of his aunt and his wife, 
and aid with men and money : wherefore we must take heed 
betimes, and break this amity ; which thing we may by this 
our old craft easily bring to pass. Let us take a dispensation. Practice. 
and break this marriage, and turn the king's sister unto the 
French king : if the French king get a male of her, then we 
shall lightly make our king protector of France, and so shall 
England and France be coupled together ; and as for the 
queen of England, we shall trim her well enough, and occupy 
the king with strange love, and keep her that she shall bear 
no rule. And as the gods had spoken, so it came to pass. 
Our fair young daughter was sent to the old pocky king of^^^^^^^^^ 
France^, the year before our mortal enemy, and a miscreant ^'^'"^''^• 
worse than a Turk, and disobedient unto our holy father, and 
no more obedient^ than he was compelled to be against his 

The cause of the journey to Calais. 

In short space thereafter Thomas Wolfsee, now cardinal, 
and legate a latere, and greatly desirous to be pope also, 
thought it exceeding expedient, for his many secret purposes, 
to bring our king and the king of France that now is^ together, 
both to make a perpetual peace and amity between them, and 
that, while the two kings and their lords dallied together, 
the great cardinals and bishops of both parties might betray Traitorous 
them both, and the emperor and all christian kings thereto, p'^'"''^'- 

Then he made a journey of gentlemen, arrayed altogether 
in silk, so much as their very shoes and lining of their boots, 
more like their mothers than men of war; yea, I am sure that 
many of their mothers would have been ashamed of so nice 
and wanton array ^. Howbeit they went not to make war, but 

[3 Louis XII. married the princess Mary Oct. 9, 1514, being then 
veiy nearly three times her age.] 
[■* S. and S. ed. has 7/et.] 
[5 Francis I. succeeded Louis XII. in 1515.] 
[6 The kings of France and England met near Ardres, in the second 



The pomp 
and apparel 
of the car- 
dinal and his 
passed the 
twelve apos- 

Wolsey wa 
a subtle 

peace, for ever and a day longer. But to speak of the pom- 
pous apparel of my lord himself, and of his chaplains, it pass- 
eth the twelve apostles. I dare swear that if Peter and Paul 
had seen them suddenly, and at a blush, they would have 
been harder of belief that they or any such should be their 
successors, than Thomas Didymus was to believe that Christ 
was risen again from death. 

When all was concluded between the king of France and 
ours, that Thomas Wolfsee had devised, and when the prelates 
of both parties had cast their penny-worths against all chances, 
and devised remedies for all mischiefs; then the right reverend 
father in God, Thomas, cardinal and legate, would go see the 
young emperor newly chosen to the room, and have a certain 
secret communication with some of his prelates also ; and gat 
him to Bruges, in Flanders, where he was received with great 
solemnity, as belongeth unto so mighty a pillar of Christ's 
church, and was saluted at the entering into the town of a 
merry fellow, which said. Salve rex regis tui atque regni 
sui : " Hail, both king of thy king, and also of his realm." 
And though there were never so great strife between the 
emperor and the French king, yet my lord cardinal juggled 
him favour of them both ; and finally brought the emperor to 
Calais to the king's grace, where was great triumph, and 
great love and amity shewed on both parties^ ; insomuch that 
a certain man marvelling at it asked the old bishop of Dur- 

weck of June, 1520. From the excessive pomp then displayed the 
place of meeting received the name of ' the field of the cloth of gold.'] 
[1 Tyndale has here mingled statements which belong to two dif- 
ferent interviews between Wolsey and Charles V. The emperor had 
come to Dover on the 25th of May, 1520, (where Wolsey had met him,) 
and had remained with Henry, about to repair to Ardi es, till the 31st. 
On the 10th of July, Henry and the cardinal again met the emperor 
at Gravelines, from whence Charles returned with the English court 
to Calais. But it was on July 20th of 1521 that Wolsey, who had gone 
to Calais to act the impartial umpire between the French and imperial 
agents commissioned to meet him there, pi'csently proceeded to Bru- 
ges, attended by EngHsh lords, knights and others, to the number of 
460 horse, and was met by the emperor in person, a mile out of the 
town, who did him 'high honour and reverence.' Grafton's Chron. 
p. 1048. Sharon Turner says, 'The original letters from Henry, from 
Charles, and the cardinal, preserved in the British Museum, shew the 
knavery of this pretended mediation.' — Hist. Hen. VHI. B. i. ch. x. 
2ud ed. Vol. i. p. 271.] 


ham^ how it might be that we were so great with the em- 
peror, so shortly upon so strong and everlasting a peace made 
between us and the Frenchmen, the emperor and the king of 
France being so mortal enemies ? My lord answered, ' That 
it might be well enough, if he wist all : but there was a cer- a certain 

. secret. W. T. 

tain secret (said he) whereof all men knew not^' Yea, verily, 
they have had secrets this eight hundred years; which though 
all the laymen have felt them, yet few have spied them, save 
a few Judases, which for lucre have been confederate with 
them, to betray their own kings and all other. 

Then were we indifferent and stood still ; and the emperor 
and the French king wrestled together ; and Ferdinandus, 
the emperor's brother, won Milan of the Frenchmen, and the Milan. 
emperor Tournay*, our great conquest; which yet, after so Toumay. 
great cost in building a castle, we delivered up again to the 
Frenchmen, in earnest and hope of a marriage between the 
Dolphine and our princess. 

How the emperor came through England. 

After that the emperor would into Spain, and came through xhe emperor 
England ; where he was received in great honour, and with EngLnd?"^ ' 
all that pertaineth to love and amity. The king's grace lent 
him money, and promised him more ; and the emperor should 
tarry a certain years, and marry our princess : not that the 
cardinal intended that, thou mayest be sure ; for it was not 
profitable for their kingdom ; but his mind was to dally with 
the emperor, and to keep him without a wife, that (insomuch 
as he was young and lusty) he might have been noselled and 

[2 Thomas Ruthal, lord privy seal, was made bishop of Durham in 
1509, and was near the close of his life when these interviews took 

[3 Wolsey had secretly pledged his sovereign to invade France, with 
permission to pretend to be the faithful ally of its king for eighteen 
months more. But there was another secret article, by which the em- 
peror and he pledged themselves to coerce and prosecute all and every 
one in their dominions, who should seem to entertain wrong opinions 
concerning the catholic faith, or endeavour to disturb the catholic ftiith 
or the apostolic see. The articles of this convention are dated Bruges, 
Aug. 25, 1521, and are quoted by Sharon Turner, B. i. ch. x., from the 
document in the Brit. Mus. Galba, B. 7. p. 104.] 

[4 Before the end of November, 1521.] 


Nurturhigof entangled with whores (which is their nurturing of kings), and 
made so effeminate and beastly, that he should never have 
been able to lift up his heart to any goodness or virtue ; that 
cardinals and bishops might have administered his dominions 
in the mean time, unto our holy father's profit ^ 
Practice. The king of France, hearing the favour that was shewed 

^■^" unto the emperor, sent immediately a defiance unto our king", 

The French . , ^ ,. i , i , • i , ^ ^ ,^ 

kingsendeth not without our cardmals and bishops counsel, thou may est 

a defiance to ^ , "^ . 

kin^ Henry ^ell Wit ! for Frenchmen are not so foolish to have done it 
so unadvisedly and so rashly, seeing they had too many in 
their tops already. Then our king spake many great words, 
that he would drive the French king out of his realm, or else 
the French king should drive him out of his. But had he 
added, as the legate Pandulph taught king John, ' with the 
pope's licence,' his words had sounded much better : for 
there can no vow stand in effect, except the holy father con- 
firmed it. 
^nTinto We sent out our soldiers two summers against the French- 

France, j^gj^^ ^^j^j.Q whose chief captains the cardinal had appointed how 
far they should go, and what they should do ; and therefore 
the French king was nothing afraid, but brought all his power 
against the emperor in other places : and so was the emperor 
ever betrayed. And thus the cardinal was the emperor's 
Thecardinai friend opcnlv, and the French kind's secretly. For at the 

was the em- i «/ ' o </ 

peror's friend meeting with the French king beside Calais, he utterly betrayed 
kJng^s't^ the emperor, yet for no love that he had to France, but to 


[1 Charles V. landed at Dover May 26, 1522, being met there by 
cardinal Wolsey, who was attended by a splendid train at the king's 
especial command. Rymer, p. 767. On the 6th of June the emperor 
signed a document, preserved in Rymer, p. 769, obliging himself to pay 
Wolsey a pension of 7000 crowns of gold for his natural life, as an 
indemnity for what he was likely to lose by a breach with Francis. 
And on the third of July he signed another obligation pledging him- 
self to secure to Wolsey an annual pension of 2500 ducats from the 
revenues of a Spanish bishoprick ; which obligation is also amongst the 
documents printed in Rymer, Tom. xiii. p. 770.] 

[2 The contemporary chronicler, Grafton, says, that on the 21st of 
May Clarencieux king at arms, the English herald, came to the French 
king's chamber at Lyons ; and said to him, ' Sir, I am charged to tell 
you that the king, my sovereign lord, holdeth you for his mortal enemy 
from this day forth ;' and that Francis replied, ' I looked for this a 
great while agone : for sith the cardinal was at Bruges, I looked for 
none other.'— Grafton's Chron. Lond. 1569, p. 105.] 


help the pope; yea, and to have been pope haply, and to save 
their kingdom : which treason though all the world smelled 
it, yet it brake not out openly to the eye till the siege of The siege of 
Pa vie. And the cardinal lent the emperor much money 
openly; and gave the B>ench king more secretly^ He played 
with both hands to serve their secret that all men know not, 
as the bishop of Durham said. But whatsoever the French- 
men did, they had ever the worse, notwithstanding the secret 
working of our holy prelates on their side. 

Finally, unto the siege of Pavie came the French king p^^ia. 
personally with sixty thousand men of war, of which twelve 
thousand were horsemen, and with money enough. And the 
emperor's host was under twenty thousand, of which were 
but three thousand horsemen, with no money at alH : for 
he trusted unto the pope for aid of men, and unto our car- a raise pope, 
dinal for money. But the pope kept back his men, till that carlilnris. 
the Frenchmen had given them a field ; and our cardinal kept 
back his money for the same purpose^. And thus was the 
silly emperor betrayed, as all his predecessors have been this 
eight hundred years. Howbeit there be that say, that the 
emperor's soldiers so threatened Pace, the king's grace's am- p^^^^ ^j^^ 
bassador, that he was fain to make chevisance with merchants iynds°ambas- 
for money, in the king's name, to pay the soldiers withal. ^^^°^" 
Wherefore the cardinal took from him all his promotions, and 
played tormentors with him, when he came home ; because he 
presumed to do one jot more than was in his commission^. 

[3 In January, 1525, the emperoi''s ambassador in London brought 
Wolsey to confess, that an agent of the French queen regent had been 
eight months in London, and in communication with him — Fiddes's 
Life of Wolsey, pp. 331—6.] 

[4 The chronicler Grafton makes the French king's army contain 
only half as many horse as Tyndale has stated ; but the accuracy of 
Tyndale's information resjiecting the emperor's forces appears remark- 
able, when tested by the account transmitted to Hem-y from an English 
agent in Italy. — See Sharon Turner, pp. 394 — 5.] 

[5 In a letter now in the Bi'itish Museum, Galba B. 8. 51, the 
English ambassador says to Wolsey, writing ten days before the battle, 
' As for the king's money, your grace knoweth my commission is afUr 
battle strichen.''\ 

[6 Wolsey afterwards persecuted Pace till he became a beggar and 
a lunatic. S. Turner, B. i, c. xii. Vol. i. p. 355. But Mr. Turner 
attributes this persecution to a bold remonstrance against Wolsey's 
conduct, in a letter to the cardinal himself, penned by Pace in 1524.] 


But, howsoever it was, the emperor's men, in tarrying for 
Bourbon. help, had spent out all their victuals. Whereupon Bourbon, 
the chief captain of the emperor, said unto his under captains : 
' Ye see help cometh not, and that our victuals are spent ; 
wherefore there is no remedy but to fight, though we be un- 
equally matched. If we win, we shall find meat enough; if 
we lose, we shall lose no more than we must lose with hunger, 
though we fight not.* And so they concluded to set upon the 
Frenchmen by night. The king of France and his lords, sup- 
posing that the moon would sooner have fallen out of the sky 
than that the emperor's host durst have fought with them, 
were somewhat negligent, and went the same night a mum- 
The emperor ming that Bourbou set upon them. The emperor's host 

setteth upon O r 1 

king'^by"'"'' therefore with their sudden coming upon them amazed the 
night. Frenchmen, and drave them upon heaps together one on 

another, so that they never could come in array again ; and 
took the king, and divers of his lords, and slew many and 
won the field. And there came out all the cardinal's privy 
treason : for in the French king's tent (say men) were letters 
found ^ ; and beside that in the French king's treasure, and 
in all the host, among the soldiers were English ships found 
innumerable, which had come saiHng a thousand miles by land. 
But what wonder ? Ships be made to sail over the sea, and 
wings to fly into far countries, and to mount to the top of 
high hills. 

When the French king was taken, we sang Te Deum. 
T^Deum"^ But for all that singing we made peace with Frenchmen ^r 
ami gJeft and the pope, the Venetians, France, and England, were knit 
maT'in togothcr ; lest the emperor's army should do any hurt in 
France. Whereby ye may conjecture of what mind the pope 
and the cardinal were toward the emperor ^ and with what 
heart our spiritualty, with their invisible secrets, sang Te 

[1 ' Searching of the king's treasure, in his coffers there was found 
among them the league newly concluded between the king of England 
and the French King under the great seal of England.' — Cavendish's 
Life of Wolsey, by Singer, p. 80.] 

[2 The peace was signed in England, Aug. 30, 1525. Id. p. 457.] 
[3 The documents which afford evidence of Wolse/s personal 
hostility to the emperor at this time, and of that sovereign's knowledge 
of his abusive language, are cited by Sh. Turner, B. i. ch. xv. Vol. i. 
pp. 449_55,] 

angels ol 

At the tak. 
ing of the 



DouTD. And from that time hitherto the emperor and our 
cardinal have been twain. 

After that, when the king of France was delivered home 
again, and his sons left in pledge, many ways were sought 
to bring home the sons also : but in vain, except the French 
king would make good that which he had promised the em- 
peror. For the bringing home of those children no man 
more busied his wits than the cardinal. He would in any 
wise the emperor should have sent them home ; and it had 
been but for our king's pleasure, for the great kindness that 
he shewed him in times past. He would have married subtie prac- 
the king's daughter, our princess, unto the dolphine again, cardnrai. 
or, as the voice went among many, unto the second bro- 
ther^; and he should have been prince in England, and king in 
time to come. So that he sought all ways to pluck us from 
the emperor, and to join us unto France ; to make France 
strong enough to match the emperor, and to keep him down ; 
that the pope might reign a god alone, and do what pleaseth^ 
him, without controlling of any overseer. And for the same The mart 

^ ° " , , should have 

purpose he left nothing unprovided to bring the mart from ^een at^ c^- 
Antwerp to Calais^. 

Why the queen must be divorced. 

If the cardinal could by such means have made us French, 
the queen had been queen yet ; yea, though she had not 
been his wife. Neither would he have been more about to 
separate her, than he hath been to separate other that indeed 
were not his wives, but hath been rather diligent to couple 
them to him, to pluck him from his right wife ; lest, if she 
had been (as right is) in his favour, she should have given his 
grace better counsel for the realm than he hath followed ; 
and lest also the prince's grace should have been moved 
through her more to have favoured the emperor. 

But when there was found no other way, he inspired the The bishop 
kmg that the queen was not his wife, by the bishop of Lincoln w. t, 

[* At Amiens, Aug. 18, 1527, Wolsey stipulated with Francis that 
the duke of Orleans should marry her. — Rymer, Tom. xiv. p. 202.] 

[5 S. and S. ed has pleased.] 

[6 All that follows, of this treatise, except the last three paragraphs, 
is omitted in S. and S. edition; and the largest part of it is also 
omitted by Day.] 


his confessor, as the saying was^; by whom he hath breathed 
many things into his grace, and by whom he hath heard his 
confession, and by whom, and Hke hypocrites, he hath long 
betrayed him to have married him unto the king's sister of 
France, as the fame went, by that means at the last to make 
us French. And then the cardinal's doctors laid their heads 
together to seek subtle arguments and riddles to prove his 
divorcement. But all the chancellors of England (say men) 
which be all lawyers, and other doctors, mumpsimuses^ of 
divinity, were called up suddenly to dispute the matter (under 
a colour to condemn Bilney and Arthur, heard I say), which 
is their old cast and subtilty, to pretend a contrary thing, 
and to cast a mist before the eyes of the people, to hide their 
juggling ; that no man should once surmise whereabout they 
went. And the cardinal's secretaries ministered reasons unto 
them. And so the matter was discussed with a plain con- 
clusion that he must be divorced. When the queen was 
warned, she desired learned counsel to defend her quarrel, 
that she should have no wrong ; and it was granted her : 
and she chose. But, alas ! what choice is there among the 
fox's whelps? All that be shaven be sworn together; and 
all that be promoted by them must play the Judases with 
them. They may, to blind the world withal, dispute one 
against another; but the conclusion shall be the pope's profit, 
prelates' pleasure, and the lusts of princes, which are their 
defenders. Finally it is concluded that the queen is not his 
wife; and the cause why they be not divorced, is peradventure 
that our prelates are afraid. If they could have brought any 

[1 The contemporary historian, Polydore Vergil, confirms what 
Catharine declared before Wolsey and Campegio, that Wolsey origina- 
ted the divorce, because she had censured his dissolute life ; and he 
then adds, "Is [scil. Wolsey] proinde quod cogitarat cum spe magna, 
id exequi cupiens, cum Joanne Longland, Lincolniensi episcopo, de 
qusestione futura amice communicat, quod is esset qui regis confessio- 
nem audiret." — Angl. Hist. Lib. 27. p. 1730. Gand. 1557. He proceeds 
to say, that after this Wolsey first mentioned it to the king, but made 
little impression upon him, till Longland came to his aid.] 

[2 The allusion is to the well-known tale respecting an ignorant 
priest, who used to say ' Mumpsimus Domine' where his Latin service- 
book had sumpsimus, and being told what he ought to say, replied 
that he had used the word mumpsimus for 30 years, and would not 
leave his old mumpsimus for a new suwpsimus.] 


marriage about, to join us unto France, it had been done long 
since ; but because they cannot (for the French king's sister 
knew too much of Christ to consent unto such wickedness), 
haply they would it were undone^. I doubt not but they 
bear the king's grace in hand that the pope dare not confirm 
it for fear of the emperor ; but I doubt not, if they feared 
not the emperor and the lords and commons, it had been done 

After that my lord cardinal with More, his sworn secre- 
tary, and the bishop of London, that still Saturn, the imaginer 
of all mischief*, went to France to juggle secretly, and carried 
with him more than he brought home again. This is of a 
truth, that he carried great treasure with him. The French 
galleys lay long in Thames' mouth, and not for nought. The 
fame went plain, yea, and I know also one that saw in my 
lord cardinal's court letters sealed with the king's great 
seal, wherein was contained that the French king should 
have of us money sufficient for to find twenty thousand men 
against the emperor in Italy, from the second day of July, 
in the year of our Lord fifteen hundred twenty-seven, for- 

But among all other, as soon as the pope was taken ^, the 
cardinal wrote unto the emperor that he should make him 
pope. And when he had got an answer that pleased him not, 
but according unto his deservings toward the emperor, then 
he waxed furious mad, and sought all means to displease the 

[3 Polydore Vergil, in reference to the circumstance, says : ' Quamvis 
re vera princeps ilia, mulier ojitima, noluerit quicquam audire de 
nuptiis, quae nuptise non possent conjungi sine miserabili Catharinse 
casu.' — p. 1735. It is well known that Margaret was favourable to the 

[4 Grafton says, 'The 22d day of July [1527] the cardinal departed 
out of Calice, and with him was the lord Cutberd Tunstall, bishop of 
London, Sir Thomas More, &c.' — p. 1151.] 

[5 The treaty which the cardinal made with Francis is given in 

[6 Day had omitted all the previous part of this chapter; and 
begins this paragraph as follows ; ' But at that time the pope, taking 
part with the French king, had war with the emperor ; and at the last 
the pope was taken, &c.' The text of Day then proceeds in agreement 
with that of the first, or Marburg edition, to the close of the next 
paragraph, with which Day finishes the chapter.] 

r 1 21 



emperor ^ and imagined this^ divorcement between the king 
and the queen, and wrote sharply unto the emperor with 
menacing letters, that if he would not make him pope, he 
A ruffler. would make such ruffling between christian princes as was 
not this hundred year, to make the emperor repent : yea, 
though it should cost the whole realm of England. 

The Lord Jesus be our shield ! What a fierce wrath of 
God is this upon us, that a misshapen monster should spring 
out of a dunghill into such a height that, the dread of God 
and man laid apart, he should be so malapert, not only to 
defy utterly the majesty of so mighty an emperor, whose 
authority both Christ and all his apostles obeyed, and taught 
The pride all othcr to obcy, threatening damnation to all them that 
gance of would uot I but should also set so little by the whole realm 

cardinal ' ^ 

woisey. Qf England, which hath bestowed so great cost and shed so 
much blood to exalt and maintain such proud, churlish, and 
unthankful hypocrites, that he should not care to destroy it 
utterly for the satisfying of his villainous lusts. 

The emperor sent forth a little book in print, both in 
Spanish and also in Dutch, in which he answereth unto the 
cardinal's menacing, and unto many articles that the cardinal 
layeth against him, and among all other repeateth this 
threatening of the cardinal. * Ye will (saith the emperor) 
to do me displeasure, if I will not make you pope, set such a 
ruffling among christian princes as was not this hundred year, 
though it should cost you the whole realm of England.' 
Whereunto the emperor answereth, saying, ' Ye go about to 
give your king another wife, which if you do, it may be the 
next way to cost you the realm of England.' And I believe 
verily, that the prophecy of this caitiff Caiaphas, the cardinal, 
through the mischief that he hath wrought for the divorce- 
ment of the marriage, shall be fulfilled, and that it will cost 
the whole realm of England, if it be not seen to betimes. By 
what means, I will shew you after that I have spoken a word 
or two of this divorcement. 

[^ See Sh. Turner, Hist. Hen. VIH. ch. xx. Vol. n. p. 150—1.] 
[2 So M. ed., but D. has the.] 

The emperor 
against the 
W. T. 


Of the divorcement. 

If the king's most noble grace will needs have another 
wife, then let him search the laws of God, whether it be law- 
ful or not ; forasmuch as he himself is baptized to keep the 
laws of God, and hath proposed them and hath sworn them. 
If the law of God suffer it, then let his grace put forth a 
little treatise in print, and even in the English tongue, that 
all men may see it, for his excuse and the defence of his 
deed, and say, ' Lo, by the authority of God's word do I 
this.' And then let not his grace be afraid either of the 
emperor, or of his lords, or of his commons and subjects : 
for God hath promised to keep them that keep his laws. 
If we care to keep his laws, he will care for the keeping of 
us, for the truth of his promises. If it be found unlawful, 
then let his grace fear God, and cease to shame himself and 
his blood, his lords, his subjects, and his realm, and specially 
the blessed name of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and his holy 
doctrine, and the profession of our faith : for whosoever 
professeth the faith of Christ, and liveth contrary unto his 
doctrine, shameth the name of our Saviour Jesus Christ. 
Moreover whatsoever God coupled, man may not loose, no, 
though he name himself pope. Wherefore, if this marriage The pope 
be of God, the pope cannot dispense with it : for God hath authority 

i i: _ 1 against Uod, 

given no power against himself; but to preach his ordinances "^- ^'• 
only hath he given power. Therefore if we will see what 
is right and what is wrong, let us bring it unto the light of 
God's law, and let us submit our causes unto the judgment 
thereof, and be content to have our appetites slain thereby, 
that we lust no farther than God's ordinance giveth us liberty. 
For verily to desire more than God permitteth, is to tempt 
God, and to provoke wrath and indignation upon us, unto our 
destruction, as the children of Israel did under Moses, and 
perished : whose froward deeds are warning for us (saith 
Paul, 1 Cor. X.) that we, feared with the terrible ensample of icor. x. 
their fall, should abstain from like wickednesses. 

The controversy and strife of the matter, and all the doubt The cause 

" , that maketh 

and difficulty, standeth in this, that Moses in the xviiith of ^^^^^theJ^a 
Leviticus saith, "Thou shalt not unhele^ the secrets of thy J^^^r^hi's 
brother's wife, for they are thy brother's secrets." Which is as S^w. t. 

[3 Unhele, i. e. uncover.] 




Lev. xviii. 
Deut. XXV. 

The law of 

The law of 

The law 
W. T. 

much to say as, thou shalt not take thy brother's wife. And 
in the xxvth of Deuteronomy he saith, "That if a man die with- 
out issue, his brother must marry his wife." Which two texts 
seem contrary, the one forbidding, the other commanding, a 
man to take his brother's wife. Wherefore, that we may come 
unto the true sense and clear meaning of these two texts, and 
that we may perceive also the ground of the reason that may 
be made by both parties by the occasion of these texts, and 
see which reasons do conclude, ye shall understand that the 
law of Moses is divided into three parts. Part of his laws 
are ceremonies, that is to say, signs that put men in remem- 
brance either of the benefits of God done already, as the 
Easter lamb ; either signs of the promise and appointment 
made between God and man, as circumcision ; or signs that 
testify unto the people that the wrath of God is peaced, and 
their sins forgiven, as all manner sacrifices : which all ceased as 
soon as Christ had offered up the sacrifice of his body and 
blood for us ; and instead of them come the open preaching 
of Christ, and our signs which we call sacraments. 

Another sort are laws of penalty or punishment to avenge 
sin, if it break out and hurt a man's neighbour, as tooth for 
tooth, eye for eye, and that the blood-shedder must have his 
blood shed again, and the breaker of wedlock must be stoned: 
which laws were given unto the Jews only, and we heathen or 
Gentiles are not bound unto them, that we should punish every 
sin after the same manner ; but it is enough that every land 
punish their trespassers as it seemeth best for the common- 
wealth there, some of one manner and some of another. 

Another part pertain unto faith and love ; and that a man 
believe how that there is but one God, and that he is true, 
good and merciful in all things ; and therefore ought to be 
believed, trusted and loved with all a man's heart, soul, mind 
and strength ; and that a man love his neighbour as himself, 
for God's sake, which hath created him and made him. And 
this is the law of nature, and pertaineth unto all nations in- 
differently, with all that dependeth or followeth thereof. This 
law was also before Moses ; insomuch that though Moses had 
never written it, yet had the Jews been no less bound thereto 
by nature and by natural right and equity. For whosoever 
is of God, the same consenteth unto this law, and unto all 
that followeth thereof naturally, when he heareth it preached; 


as he consenteth that the fire is hot, when he putteth his 
finger in it. 

Moreover, whosoever hath this law graven in his heart, Aiiiaws 
this same keepeth all laws ; and whosoever hath it not written one."^v!'T! 
in his heart, the same keepeth no law. For whosoever believeth 
that there is one God, and loveth him with all his heart, Avith 
all his soul, mind and strength, (which is the first of the ten 
commandments pertaining unto the person of God,) the same 
will worship nothing of his own imagination without God's 
word ; and then he can make none image to worship it ; which 
is the second commandment pertaining unto the person of God. 
He cannot also, for very love sake, take the name of God in 
vain and swear by it unreverently : and so thou hast the third 
commandment pertaining unto the person of God. Further- 
more, he that believeth God and hath his trust only in him, 
and loveth him as I said, cannot but keep his holy day, not 
after Moses's fashion, but spiritually : that is, he cannot but 
observe a time to wait on God's word, to hear it, and learn it, 
and to knowledge his sins to God, and to desire him of mercy, 
according to his promises and testament which he hath made 
with us : and so thou hast the fourth commandment pertaining 
unto the person of God. Last of all, he that so loveth God 
cannot disobey father and mother, in which two names are 
contained all high powers; as grandfather, grandmother, aunt, 
uncle, king, lord, master, husband, and so forth, persons 
here in God''s stead, by which he made us, and by which he 
feedeth us, clotheth us, governeth us, teacheth and ruleth 
us. And thus thou hast the five commandments, which all 
pertain unto the person of God : for the obedience of father 
and mother, and of all high powers which rule the world in 
God's stead, pertaineth unto the person of God, and must be 
done with love as unto God's self. 

Furthermore, he that loveth God hath this commandment 
also, that he love his brother or neighbour, in the fourth 
chapter of the first epistle of John. For how can a man love i John iv. 
the father, and hate the son, whom the father loveth ? Even 
so how canst thou love God the Creator, and hate that 
creature whom he hath created and made after his own 
likeness ; and so loveth him, that he hath made him lord over 
all other creatures, and thereto hath given his own Son unto 
the death for his sake, to shew him kindness, that he might 


see love, and to love again ? IIow also can I love our Savioui' 
Jesus Christ, and hate him whom he hath bought with his 
blood ? Though the son be never so evil, yet if I love his 
father heartily, I cannot but be sorry that the son is evil, and 
wish him good in mine heart, and help to the uttermost of my 
power to make him better, even for his father's sake : until I 
see him run so far that he go about to slay his father ; whicii 
thing if he do, then 1 resist him unto the uttermost of my 
power. Even so, though my neighbour be never so evil, yet 
as long as I love God, and Christ our Saviour, with all mine 
heart, I cannot but love him, and help to better him with all 
my power; until he run so far, that he beginneth to fight 
against God, and to destroy the law of God, and the testament 
that God hath made unto man : then I resist him with all 
my power, as God hath taught me to resist. 

Now if I love my neighbour in God faithfully and unfeign- 
edly, then I cannot find in my heart to slay him : neither to 
defile his wife : neither to steal his goods : nor to bear false 
witness against him : neither can mine heart covet his house, 
wife, man-servant or maid from him, either ox, ass, or what- 
soever is his. And thus hast thou other five of the ten 
commandments, pertaining all unto the person of thy neighbour. 
This is the law of nature, whose servants Moses and the prophets 
were, to teach it the Jews ; and whose servant Christ our 
Saviour was, for our sakes, with his apostles, to teach it us. 
And it is an everlasting law, and pertaineth indifferently to 
all nations, with all that hangeth thereof; insomuch that 
though a man be never taught it, yet if it be not found 
written in his heart, he is the heir of damnation. 
Solutions. Now they that study to make this divorcement between 

^^'^ the king's grace and the queen, will haply say, that the first 

text is a law depending of the law natural, (for, undoubted, it 
is no ceremony, nor yet law of penalty,) and therefore pertaineth 
unto all men indifferently, and ought to be kept of all nations ; 
and that the second is a ceremony, and therefore ceaseth at 
the coming of Christ. I answer : If it be a ceremony, then it 
Ceremonies^ is a sigu, and must have a signification. It must signify some 
benefit of God done already, or some vengeance taken for sin, 
or some promise, or something that I must do or leave undone 
at the commandment of God. Now the signification of it they 
will shew me, when our lady hath a new son. 

! signifi 
W. T. 


Moreover, there is no ceremony of Moses, but that I may blmaa" of 
keep it this day as an indifferent thing ; howbeit, not as a '^^fui things 
thing so necessary unto my soul's health, that I should think 
that I sinned if I did not. But I may eat the Easter lamb of 
passover every year, when the time cometh, if I will. And I 
may circumcise myself for my pleasure, as well as pare my 
nails, if I list. And I may burn the blood and fat of oxen 
and calves unto this day without sin, as an indifferent thing; 
and give this signification thereto, that as the fat consumeth in 
the fire, even so doth the sin of all men that repent consume 
in the hot fire of the love of God to us-ward in Christ Jesus 
the Lord ; and so forth. If it be a ceremony, then, how 
happeneth it that this one ceremony is unlawful among all 
other ? 

Thereto, inasmuch as Moses in all his laws sought the 
glory of God and the pureness of his people, as he boasteth 
of himself, (Deut. iv.), saying, " What nation hath ordinances oeut. iv. 
and laws so righteous as all this law, which I set before 
you?" how cometh it that Moses was driven into so great 
a strait, that he would find nought to make a ceremony of, 
but that which of his own nature is damnable sin, and filthy 
among the heathen ; which heathen made as just laws, out of 
the law natural graven in their hearts, as Moses did? Might 
not the heathen of good right say, " See what a filthy nation 
it is, they marry every one his brother's wife, as hounds?" 
And so the law shamed the name of God, and honoured it 
not. If Moses gave his people two contrary commandments, 
then he was an indiscreet lawgiver, yea, and devilish thereto ; 
for then I cannot but be damned whatsoever I do. If a 
man say that the first pertaineth unto us heathen, and the 
last unto the people of Israel, that soundeth not ; for when 
all the other laws contained in the same chapter, and in all 
his books, pertained unto the same people, how should he, 
among so many belonging unto them, mingle one for us hea- 
then only, to whom he was no lawgiver; and namely when 
he wist that one as wise as he should come and teach us, 
which is our Saviour Jesus Christ ? 

If a man will say, the first is a law, and the second a 
permission, as the permission of divorcements, when a man 
did hate his wife : nay, verily, it is not a permission, but a 
flat commandment, and that under pain of great shame and 


rebuke unto the man, if he did it not, and under the loss of 
all her husband's possession unto the woman, if she offered 
not herself. Of which law, also, because thou needest not to 
dream of a ceremony, a man may shew a good natural reason, 
profitable unto the commonwealth. For a woman, when she 
is married, she forsaketh her father's kin, and bringeth her 
dowry with her, and taketh her name among her husband's 
kin. Now if her husband die childless, it is not reason that 
she should be cast out of the kin empty, neither is it right 
that she should carry her husband's possessions out of his 
kin away with her, and that a stranger should get a child 
of her, to possess them. Thou wilt say, that the lands might 
return unto the next of his kin, and the wife have a portion 
her life long only. Then should great possessions come into 
the hands of one man, and so should there many tyrants 
rise among the people : which to avoid, God ordained that 
the lands should be scattered ever among as many as might 
be of the same kin ; and for the same cause would suffer no 
man to buy any lands for ever. For God thinketh it better 
for his commonwealth, that twenty should spend twenty or 
forty shillings apiece, than that one should spend twenty or 
forty pounds, and nineteen never a whit : for then must 
many poor hang on one rich ; which rich for the most part 
be of corrupt minds, and so sensual that they will look on 
no man to do him good, except it will be on such as will 
follow their lusts. And so should the people follow the will 
of man, and not of God ; and be compelled to live wickedly, 
and to murder, steal, and oppress their brethren, to fill their 
belhes withal. 

Moreover, it was a law in the time of the law natural, 
four hundred years before Moses, that a man should marry 
his brother's wife, as thou seest Genesis xxxviii. Also, Moses 
forbiddeth not a man, when his wife is dead, to marry her 
sister. If one man may marry two sisters, why may not 
one woman marry two brethren ? Are not two sisters as 
nigh of kin as two brethren ? 

Wherefore I see no remedy, but that a man must under- 
^derstood. stand the text thus : That Moses forbiddeth a man to take 
his brother's wife as long as his brother liveth ; as in the 
text following, when he forbiddeth a man to take his neigh- 
bour's wife, he meaneth while his neiphbour liveth : for 

How the 
text is to be 


after his death it is lawful. And therefore John rebuked 
Herod for taking his brother's wife from him, his brother 
being yet alive. Or at the uttermost, if they will strive 
and shew no cause why, it can extend no further than that 
a man may not take his brother's wife, if he have issue by 
her; which I suppose an indifferent thing to have her or 
not, as they can agree : but if his brother die childless, then 
he ought to have her, and that she is bound to offer herself 
to the other brother, by the law of Moses ; and that it is 
lawful now, though no commandment. 

If it be understood of a man's brother's wife, he being 
alive, then haply ye will say that it is superfluously added of 
Moses ; for it is included in that which followeth immediately, 
that a man shall not take his neighbour's wife. Nay, verily : 
for it is another sin, and a more greater sin for a man to 
take his brother's wife than his neighbour's wife, that is no 
kin to him ; because that my neighbour's shame is not my 
shame. For let my neighbour be hanged, and no man 
casteth that in my teeth. But my brother's shame is my 
shame, and the shame of my father and mother, and of all 
my kin. For let whatsoever rebuke bechance my brother, 
and it is cast in my teeth, and in the teeth of my father and 
mother, and of all my kin immediately. Wherefore, to be 
so forgetful of natural honesty, that I should defile my bro- 
ther's wife unto mine own shame and all my kin, is more 
grievous and heinous (as they say), and springeth of greater 
lewdness or malice, than to take my neighbour's wife which 
is not of my kin. And this doth the xxth chapter of the said 
Leviticus prove, where Moses saith, If a man lie with his ^^v. xx. 
brother's wife, they shall die immediately, and not tarry the 
birth : as Judah would have burnt Tamar, his daughter-in- Gen. xxxviiu 
law, being yet great with child. 

They will haply say also, that if it be to be understood 
of a man's brother's wife, while his brother liveth, then they 
will understand of the father's and uncle's wives also, while 
the father and uncle live. Nay, verily, it is far unlike. For 
my father's wife and mine uncle's wife are my superiors, and 
persons unto whom I owe obedience by the means of my 
father and uncle. Now if I should marry them, then I should 
make them my servants, (for the wife must obey her husband;) 
and so pervert I the law of nature and natural equity and 


honesty. Ye will say that when ray father and uncle be 
dead, the obedience is loosed. Verily, it might well stand 
with the pope's doctrine; for he thrusteth kings down and 
emperors thereto, and exalteth their sworn subjects into 
their rooms : he raketh one out of the dunghill on the one 
day, and out of the most low and vile kind of subjection, 
and maketh him on the morrow superior unto his own prince, 
and to all the lords of his realm, in worldly pomp and dignity. 
But God teacheth his children to humble themselves; and 
Christ teacheth his disciples to come lower and lower. I 
suppose, therefore, that a man ought much more to do them 
service, and obey them, and to give them honour and reve- 
rence now after the deaths of their husbands, than before. 
Moreover, ye see that a man may not marry his daughter- 
in-law after his son's death, by the story of Judah. And 
again, ye see that David, after the death of his son Absalom, 
would not meddle with his own wives, which his son Absalom 
had before corrupt, but shut them up in perpetual widowhood. 
Now if the father, after the death of his son, abstain from 
her that was one flesh with his son, for natural reverence ; 
how much more ought the son, after the death of his father, 
to abstain from her that was one flesh with his father, to 
whom also, by the reason of his father, he oweth obedience 
thereto ! 

Moreover, if a woman should find a man-child by the 
streets, and bring him in, and find him up of nought ; I 
would not by my will that she should after marry with him, 
for perverting of due obedience, which she should haply as 
unnaturally, even so shrewdly, give unto him again. If she 
obeyed not, with what face should he correct her? If he 
corrected her, what would she cast in his teeth, and what 
wondering would neighbours make ? What reverence and 
service then suppose ye would nature (if we were not so cor- 
rupt-minded) teach us to give unto the father's and uncle's 

And to go through all the degrees that are forbidden : 
the mother, grandmother, aunts, father's wife and uncle's 
wife, are persons to be obeyed as God, with all reverence 
and service. The daughter and daughter's daughter, and 
son's daughter, are a man's wife's flesh. The wife''s mother 
and grandmother are persons to be obeyed, besides that the 


■wife is your flesh. Now between a man and his wife's sister, 
when she is dead, and his brother's wife, when his brother is 
dead, is there no such cause as between these persons. 

And concerning the maid-children, though they be under 
the obedience of their uncles ; yet because, if any be married 
unto her uncle, she bideth in obedience still, therefore it is 
not utterly forbidden. And ensamples there be, that maidens 
have married unto their uncles : which thing yet I could not 
have drawn into a common use without necessity, or for a 

And concerning the sister; she is of egal birth to her 
brother. It is to be feared, therefore, lest her obedience 
would be less to her brother than to a stranger. Then note 
the grief of father and mother, if they agreed not. Moreover, 
if he were an unkind husband, then had she double sorrow ; 
first, because he is unkind, and also because she hath lost the 
comfort of a brother. Then the familiar bringing up together. 
And beside all those and such like, there is yet another, 
(which I think the chiefest of all,) that the sending out of 
daughters into another kin, and receiving again out of another 
kin, is the greatest cause of peace and unity that is in the 
world. And therefore the heathen people forbad that degree 
in the laws. 

Nevertheless, the marriage of the brother with the sister 
is not so grievous against the law of nature (think eth me) as 
the degrees above rehearsed. And therefore it seemeth me, 
that it might be dispensed with in certain cases, and for divers 
considerations. It would be hard to prove that Sarah was not 
Abraham's sister, whom I think he married because there was 
none other faithful woman that believed in God. Moreover, 
the greatest cause to send the daughter out is unity and peace 
between divers kindreds. 

Wherefore, if greater peace and unity might be made with 
keeping her at home, I durst dispense with it : as, if the king 
of England had a son by one wife, heir to England, and a 
daughter by another, heir to Wales ; then, because of the 
great war that was ever wont to be between those two 
countries, I would not fear to marry them together, for the 
making of a perpetual unity, and to make both countries one, 
for to avoid so great effusion of blood. For which cause, I 
would God that our princess had been married unto the king 


of Scots. And I doubt not but that had been concluded 
long ago, if it had been as greatly unto the profit of the pope 
and his pilpates, (I would say prelates,) as it were to the 
honour of God. But it is not profitable for them that any 
kingdom should be strong and mighty, lest, if God should open 
the eyes of the king, the pope should have too much ado to 
resist him, and to send in other kings upon him, to conquer 
his realm. 

I did my diligence a long season, to know what reasons 
our holy prelates should make for their divorcement ; but I 
could not come by them. I searched what might be said for 
their part, but I could find no lawful cause of myself, by any 
scripture that I ever read : I communed with divers learned 
men of the matter, which also could tell me no other way than 
I have shewed. Then I considered the falsehood of our spiri- 
tualty, how that it is but their old practice, and a common 
custom ; yea, and a sport to separate matrimony, for to make 
division where such marriage made unity and peace. Where- 
fore I could not but declare my mind, to discharge my con- 
science withal ; which thing I had done long since, if I could 
have brought it to pass. Howbeit, I had lever now do it at 
the last, than that any man should cast me in the teeth in 
time to come, when this old marriage were broken, and a new 
made, why I had not spoken rather'? Neither can the king's 
grace, or any other christian man, of right be discontent with 
me. For it is not possible that any person baptized in the 
heart with repentance of evil, and with faith of forgiveness in 
the blood of Christ, and stedfast purpose and profession of 
heart to walk henceforth after the steps of Christ, in the law 
of God, should once desire or will to do aught openly, with long 
deliberation, that he would not have compared with the law of 
God, to see whether it were right or not. 

Some man might haply say, that though a great man 
would be content to have his deeds compared unto the laws 
of God, he would disdain yet to have so vile a wretch as I am 
to dispute of them. 

I answer, that it is not my fault, but God's, which for the 

most part even chooseth of the vilest to confound the glorious ; 

which not only clothed his Son with our vile nature, but made 

him also of the very lowest sort of man, even five hundred 

[' That is, earlier.] 


steps beneath the degree of a cardinal, and sent him to rebuke 
the scribes and the Pharisees which sat on Moses' seat, for 
their evil doing and false doctrine, beside the law of Moses. 
And the glorious scribes and the Pharisees, for all their holiness, 
rebuked not Herod ; nor Caiphas and Annas, for all their high- 
ness ; but vile John the Baptist. By what authority? Verily, 
by the authority of God's word ; which only, whatsoever 
garment she wear, ought to have all authority among them 
that have professed it. That word is the chiefest of the apos- 
tles, and pope, and Christ's vicar, and head of the church, and 
the head of the general council. And unto the authority of 
that ought the children of God to hearken without respect of 
person ; for they that are of God, hear God's word. (John vi.) John vi. 
And Christ's sheep hear Christ's voice (John x.), yea, though Jo**" *• 
he speak by a talf. 

Ye will haply say, my reasons be not good. They may 
be the sooner solved, and shall thereto make the contrary 
part better, and set it out, and make it appear to all men's 
sight, and stablish it ; and so they shall do good every way. 

By what means the divorcement should cost the realm. 

Now to that I promised, how that I would shew you by 
what means this marriage might cost the realm of England, 
according to Caiphas the cardinal's blind prophecy. This is 
first as sure as the winter followeth the summer, that our 
prelates have utterly determined that this marriage that is 
between the king and the queen must be broken ; and so is 
the princess disinherited, and the king of Scots next to the 
crown. And we may fortune to find one at home, which, 
because he is near hand, would look to step in before him ; 
and it may chance thereto that another yet will look to come 
in, as soon as any of both : peradventure, the third born at 
home may make friends likewise ; yea, and so forth. And 
then, while ye shed each other's blood, our prelates will sit 
and laugh, and look upon you out of sanctuary ; and when 
every man hath done his best, they will think to make them 
a defender, wheresoever shall please them best. 

The king's grace, will ye say, shall have another wife, 
and she shall bear him a prince, and he shall break strife. 
Who hath promised him a prince ? Moreover, if his new 
marriage be not well proved, and go forth with good authority, 


SO shall we yet follow the princess still ; or, if she be sent 
another way, some other, whom we shall suppose more right- 
eous inheritor : and so the new prince is like to go after 
king Henry of Windsor's prince, and king Edward's children. 
And I will tell you yet another sport. As soon as the 
cardinal had sent the emperor a defiance, and upon that defi- 
ance had arrested the emperor's ships in England, and our 
ships and men were arrested also in all regions of the emperor ; 
then went the common fame throughout all Dutchland, that 
the emperor's council, Holland, Braband, and Zealand, had 
determined, if the war had proceeded, to have set up the king 
of Denmark that was, to have challenged his right in England. 
For the Danes challenge England, as we challenge France ; 
and the king of Denmark writeth himself king of England, as 
our king writeth himself king of England and France. And 
this is once: the old king of Denmark, with his son, a goodly 
prince if he had lands, shall never come in Denmark again, of 
any likelihood ^ Wherefore, if ye fall together by the ears, 
may he not by some chance, if God be angry with you, make 
an appointment with the king of Scots to come in upon you 
on the one side, and make for his part what friends he can in 
Dutchland, and send unto the new king of Denmark, and 
give up his title for ever to get rid of him, so to come in on 
the other side, and conquer you ? And twenty other ways 
are ye like to come in danger ; which I commit unto your own 

The putting down of the cardinal. 

wou'rl -^"^^ finally, concerning the cardinal's putting down, I con- 

great traitor, gi^jgj. niauy tliiugs : first, that I never heard or read that 
any man, being so great a traitor, was so easily put to death : 
then the natural disposition and inchnation of the man, how 
that his chief study, yea, and all his felicity and inward joy, 
hath ever been to exercise that 'angel's wit of his' (as my lord 
of Lincoln was wont to praise him) in driving of such drifts to 

[1 Christiern II., king of Denmark and Norway, and at the beginning 
of his reign king of Sweden also, had lost all his kingdoms by disgusting 
his subjects with his cruelty and treachery. He reigned over Denmark 
from 1513 to 1523; when he was finally expelled, and superseded by 
his uncle, Frederic duke of Sleswick.] 

[2 Day's edition resumes the Marburg text again with the words, 
concerning the cardinal's putting down.^ 


beguilo all men, and to bind the whole world withal. Where- 
fore I can none otherwise judge by an hundred tokens, evident 
unto whomsoever hath a natural wit, but that this is also 
nothing save a cast^ of his old practice ; so that when God 
had wrapped him in his own wiles, that he wist not which 
way out, (for the emperor prevailed for all the cardinal's 
treason, and the French children might not come home,) and 
he had learned also of his necromancy, this would be a jeo- 
pardous year for him, what for the treason that he had wrought 
against the emperor, and what for the money which he had 
borrowed of the commons, lest any rising should be against 
him, then he thought to undo his destiny with his policies, and cardinal 
went and put down himself under a colour (which the process miuethtrea- 

■*■ , •'■ son against 

of the tragedy well declareth), and set up in his room, to '^^^ emperor, 
minister forth, and to fight against God as he had begun, the 
chiefest of all his secretaries, one nothing inferior unto his 
master in lying, feigning, and bearing two faces in one hood ; 
a whelp that goeth not out of kind from his sire ; the chiefest 
tasle wherewith the cardinal caught the king's grace, whom 
he called unto the confirmation of all that he intended to per- 
suade, saying, ' If it like your grace, More is a learned man, cardinal 
and knoweth it, and is also a layman, wherefore he will not ^rredMo't 
say otherwise than it is, for any partiality to us-ward :' which ceiior! * 
secretary yet must first deserve it with writing against Martin*, 
and against ' The Obedience,' and ' Mammon,' and become the 
proctor of purgatory, to write against ' The supplication of 


And then, to blind the world withal, many quarrels were 
picked : the cardinal might not speak with the king's grace ; 
the broad seal was fetched away ; high treason was laid to Treason laid 
his charge : first, that he had breathed (heard I say) in the dinars'""" 
king's face, when he had the French pox : (0 hypocrites !) 
but the very treason that he had wrought was not spoken 
of at all, nor ought worthy of a traitor done to him at all^. 

[3 A calculated contrivance.] 

[* Martin Luther.] 

[5 A sarcastic attack on the mendicant friars, composed by Simon 
Fish. It may be seen in Foxe's Acts and Men.] 

[6 The disgusting charge noticed in this paragraph was the subject 
of Art. 6 in the 44 charges preferred against Wolsey in parliament. — 
Fiddes' Life of Wolsey, App. of documents, pp. 215 — 23.] 


Then they called a parliament (as though the golden 

world should come again), wherein the hypocrites, to blear 

Mortuaries, meu's cves withal, made a reformation of mortuaries, and 

probate of </ ' 

testamenu. probatos of testamcuts ; the root yet left behind, whence all 
that they have for a time weeded out will spring again by 
little and little as before, if they, as their hope is, may stop 

Pluralities of this liirht of God's word that is now abroad. They made 


also a reformation of pluralities of benefices, ordaining that 
henceforth no man may come by plurality of benefices with 
virtue and cunning, but with serving for them in the courts 
Which what other thing is it save plain simony ? blind 
buzzards and shameless hypocrites! what care they to do, 
whether against God or their own laws, to flatter great men 
Tithes. withal and to bhnd them ! But hark here : the tithes were 
The church- ordaincd, at the beginning, to find the preachers and the 
been accus- poor peoplc, which uow go a begging ; so that the church- 
gather the wardens ouo-ht to take the benefices into their hands in the 

tithes, and o 

*arfon *s^ name of the parishens, and to dehver the preachers of God''s 
sf^iemt'^and word their dwelhng and present a sufficient living, and divide 
lesftoVte the rest among the poor people. And the king is bound to 
^°*"^' maintain that order, and not to resist them, except he will be 

an open tyrant. Now I appeal to the consciences of the 
king's grace and of his lords. What answer will they give, 
when they come before Christ in the last judgment, for their 
robbing of so many souls in so many parishes of God's 
word, with holding every man so many chaplains in their 
Princes have houscs witli pluralities of benefices, and for the robbing of so 
answer. many poor and needy of their due and daily food ; whose 
need, for lack of succour, crieth to God continually for ven- 
geance against them, which we see daily, by a thousand mis- 
fortunes, fall on them and on their wives and children ? Let 
them read Exodus and Deuteronomy, and see what they find 
there. Yea, and what shall so many chaplains do ? First 

[1 Cunning is here used for learning. Tyndale alludes to the 
statute 21 Henry VIII. c. 13, which had just been enacted, to abridge 
'Spiritual persons from having pluralities of livings;' but its seeming 
stringency was rendered nugatory by the proviso in § 28, which said, 
' Provided alway that this act shall not in any way extend, ne be pre- 
judicial to any such chaplains as shall be daily or quarterly attending 
and abiding in the king's or queen's most honorable housholds' — 'and 
so for chaplains of nobles, &c.'J 


slay their souls, and then defile their wives, their daughters, 
and their maidens, and last of all betray them. 

When this reformation, the colour and cloak of their The loan first 

forgiven by 

hypocrisy, was made, then the spiritualty came ducking t^e ciergy. 
before the king's grace, and forgave him the money which 
they had lent their pope to bring in the temporalty ; and to 
make them after their example to do likewise, as loving sub- 
jects, and no less kind unto their prince than the spiritualty 2. 
Whereupon the temporalty forgave their part also, in hope of The loan for- 

r 1 JO X ' r givgn by the 

that they obtamed not : for as soon as the loan was for- temporally. 
given, the parliament broke up; because our prelates, and 
their confederate friends, had found that they sought, and 
caught the fish for which they laid the bait of all those faces 
of reformations ; and for which the cardinal, to bring the 
world into a fool's paradise, was compelled even Avith his own 
good will to resign his chancellorship, and that to whom he 
listed himself. And as for the bishoprick of Durham, to say Thebishop- 
the very truth, he could not of good congruity but reward Durham. 
his old chaplain, and one of the chief of all his secretaries 
withal, still Saturn, that so seldom speaketh, but walketh 
up and down all day musing and imagining mischief, a duck- 
ing hypocrite, made to dissemble^ : which, for what service 
done in Christ's gospel came he to the bishoprick of London ; 
or what such service did he therein ? He burnt the new jonstai 
Testament, calling it Doctrinam peregrinam, ' strange learn- Durhrm^ 
ing^' Yea, verily, look how strange his living, in whose new^Tesu. 
blood that testament was made, was from the living of the 
pope ; even so strange is that doctrine from the pope's law, 
in which only, and in the practice thereof, is Tunstal learned. 
Which also, for what cause left he the bishoprick of London ? 
Even for the same cause he took it, after that he had long 
served for it, covetousness and ambition. Neither is it pos- 
sible naturally, that there should be any good bishop, so long 

[2 A coarse expression is here omitted.] 

[^ Wolsey held the bishoprick of Durham in commendam with the 
archbishoprick of York from 1523 to 1529, when he resigned Durham in 
favour of Tonstal, but took possession of the see of Winchester. He 
also held the rich abbey of St Alban's in commendam; and the bishop- 
rics of Bath, Worcester, and Hereford in farm, because the incumbents 
were foreigners. — Cavendish's Wolsey, Vol. I. p. 32. Singer's ed. Also 
Lord Herbert's Hen. VHI. p. 57.] 

[4 See Life of Tyndale, p. xxxviii.] 

[tyndale, il] 


honour, and superfluous abundance of all manner riches, and liberty to do 

a lewd 

a'e«"» what a man Usteth unpunished; things which only the evil 

^bishoprick as the bishopricks be nothing save worldly pomp and honour, 

superfluous abundance of all mi 

what a man listeth unpunishec 

desire, and all good men abhor. 
The cardinal Aud as soou as tlio parliament was ended, the cardinal 

charged. had liis charter, and gat him home ; and all bishops gat them 

every fox to his hole ; leaving yet their attornies behind 

them, to come again themselves as soon as the constellation is 

somewhat overrun, whereof they be afraid. 

What the cause of all this mischief is. 

Whence cometh all this mischief? Verily it is the hand 
of God to avenge the wantonness of great men, which will 
walk without the fear of God, following the steps of the high 
prelates, contrary unto their profession ; and to avenge also 
the wrongs, the blasphemies, and subtle persecuting of his 

For when Martin Luther had uttered the abominations of 

the pope and his clergy with God's word, and divers books 

were come into England, our cardinal thought to find a 

remedy against that well enough, and sent to Rome for this 

Defender of vain title, ' Defender of the faith;' which the vicar of Croydon 

w. T. ■ preached that the king's grace would not lose for all London, 

and twenty miles round about it. Neither is it marvel : for it 

had cost more than London and forty miles about it is able 

to make (I think) at this hour ; beside the eff"usion of innocent 

blood that was offered unto the idol, and daily is offered 

The title of thereto. When this glorious name was come from our holy 

the defender O . . «' 

cime^frora fa-thor, the cardinal brought it unto the king's grace at Green- 
Rome, wich. And though the king had it already, and had read it, 
yet against the morning were all the lords and gentlemen 
that could in so short space be gathered together, sent for, 
to come and receive it in with honour. And in the morning 
after the cardinal gat him, through the back side, into the 
The popish friars Observants. And part of the gentles went round about, 
glorious and welcomed him from Rome, as representing the pope's 
woise^' person ; part met him half way, part at the court gate, and 
last of all the king's grace himself met him in the hall, and 
brought him up into a great chamber, where was a seat pre- 
pared on high for the king's grace and the cardinal, while 
the bull was read ; insomuch that not the wise only, but 


men of mean understanding, laughed the vain pomp to scorn, 

not far unlike to the receivina; of the cardinal's hat: which p^ .S^^- . 

c5 dinal s hat. 

when a ruffian had brought unto him to Westminster under ^- ^• 
his cloak, he clothed the messenger in rich array, and sent 
him back to Dover again ; and appointed the bishop of Can- 
terbury to meet him, and then another company of lords and 
gentles, I wot not how oft, ere it came to Westminster ; where J^^ l^^inllt 
it was set on a cupboard, and tapers about, so that the ever was.'''''' 
greatest duke in the land must make courtesy thereto, yea, 
and to his empty seat, he being away. 

And shortly, for lack of authority of God's word, Martin 
must be condemned by the authority of the king. And the 
king's grace, to claw the pope again, must make a book ; in 
which, to prove all that they would have stablished, for lack 
of scripture, yea, and contrary to the open scripture, is made 
this mighty reason : Such prelates are the church ; and the J^reth^'if'the 
church cannot err ; and therefore, all that they do is right ; Sol^be 
and we ought to believe them without any scripture ^ yea, vv! t."'^'^'^' 
and though the scripture be contrary. Wherefore God (of- 
fended with such blasphemy, to make his enemies feel that 
they would not see in the open scripture, nor in the practice 
of their livings and doings, clean contrary unto the scripture 
and unto the living of Christ and his apostles, this eight 
hundred years,) hath poured this wrath upon us, and hath 
snared the wise of the world with the subtilty of their own 
wits. For either the pope and cardinals, with other prelates, 
that made this first marriage, or they that would break it, 
err; to speak no more grievously^. 

[1 Such is the gist of the king's arguments, where the royal printer, 
Pynson, has placed in the margin, Lutherus prostratus ; and further on 
(sign, m.) where the king says, ' Si nihil omnino recipiat [Lutherus] 
quod non tam aperte legat in evangelic ut tergiversandi non sit locus, 
quomodo credit (si mode credit, qui nihil fere credit,) perpetuam Marise 
virginitatem ? De qua adeo nihil invenit in scripturis, ut Helvidius non 
aliunde quam ex scripturarum verbis corripuerit ansam decernendi 
contrarium. Nee aliud opponitur illi quam totius ecclesise fides,' etc : 
the margin has, ' Efficax ratio adversus Lutherum, quod recipi oporteat 
etiam quse nusquam sunt scripta.' And, 'Hie locus fortiter premit 
Lutherum, ut veneretur ecclesiaj traditiones non scriptas.' — From 
'Henrici Octavi Opera,' a quarto volume in the library of St John's 
College, Cambridge.] 

[2 The last sentence is omitted in Day's ed.] 



Luther sub- 
mitted him- 
self to king 
Henry VIII. 

More is 
proved a 

Moreover, when Martin Lutlier had submitted himself in 
an epistle, let his grace consider what answer he gave again. 
Where is the glory of that great praise become, that his 
grace gave the cardinal for his goodly acts and benefits, 
which all the commonwealth of the whole realm should feel ' ? 
And let his grace remember, how he inveigheth against Martin's 
wedlock, and fear lest God, to avenge wilful blindness, tangle 
his grace with matrimony (beside the destruction of the realm 
that is like to follow) much more dishonourable than his grace 
thinketh Martin shameful. His grace promised to keep his 
wedlock, as well as Martin did his chastity : and his grace's 
vow hath authority of God, and Martin's not, but is damned 
by the word of God as he did vow, and as the hypocrites do 
yet teach to vow. 

And More, among his other blasphemies in his dialogue, 
saith, that none of us dare abide by our faith unto the death. 
But shortly thereafter God, to prove More that he hath ever 
been a false liar, gave strength unto his servant, Sir Thomas 
Hitton, to confess, and that unto the death, the faith of his 
holy Son Jesus ; which Thomas the bishops of Canterbury 
and Rochester, after they had dieted and tormented him 
secretly, murdered at Maidstone most cruelly^. 

I beseech the king's most noble grace, therefore, to con- 
sider all the ways by which the cardinal and our holy bishops 
have led him, since he was first king ; and to see whereunto 
all the pride, pomp, and vain boast of the cardinal is come, 
and how God hath resisted him and our prelates in all their 
wiles. We, having nothing to do at all, have meddled yet in 
all matters, and have spent for our prelates' causes more than 
all Christendom, even unto the utter beggaring of ourselves, 
and have gotten nothing but rebuke and shame and hate 
among all nations, and a mock, and a scorn thereto, of them 
whom we have most holpen. 

For the Frenchmen (as the saying is) of late days made 
a play, or a disguising, at Paris, in which the emperor danced 

[1 Day omits the remainder of this paragraph.] 

[2 This sufferer is here called Sir Thomas, after the usual manner 
of styling priests in Tyndale's time; but Foxe only calls Hitton 'an 
honest poor man and religious.' The Archbishop of Canterbury was 
Warham; and the bishop of Rochester was Fisher. The date of 
Hitton's marytrdom is said by Foxe to have been Feb. 20, 1529.] 


with the pope and the French king, and wearied them ; the 
king of England sitting on a high bench, and looking on. 
And when it was asked, why he danced not, it was answered, 
that he sat there but to pay the minstrels their wages only. 
As who should say, we paid for all men's dancing. We 
monied the emperor openly, and gave the Frenchmen double 
and treble secretly, and to the pope also. Yea, and though 
Ferdinandus^ had money sent him openly, to Wind the world 
withal, yet the saying is throughout all Dutchland, that we 
sent money to the king of Pole, and to the Turk also ; and 
that by help of our money Ferdinand us was driven out of 
Hungary. Which thing, though it were not true, yet it will 
breed us a scab at the last, and get us, with our meddling, 
more hate than we shall be able to bear, if a chance come, 
unless that we wax wiser betime. 

And I beseech his grace also to have mercy of his own Herexyndaie 
soul, and not to suffer Christ and his holy testament to be the ce'ilsing'^of 
persecuted under his name any longer ; that the sword of the ^""^'^"^ '°°' 
wrath of God may be put up again, which for that cause, no 
doubt, is most chiefly drawn. 

And I beseech his grace to have compassion on his poor 
subjects, which have ever been unto his grace both obedient, 
loving, and kind ; that the realm utterly perish not, with the 
wicked counsel of our pestilent prelates. For if his grace, 
which is but a man, should die, the lords and commons not 
knowing who hath most right to enjoy the crown, the realm 
could not but stand in great danger. 

And I exhort the lords temporal of the realm, that they xyndaie 
come and fall before the king's grace, and humbly desire his Snderetand- 
maiesty to suffer it to be tried, wno of right ought to succeed : a^ of right 

«' _ "^ _ . should suc- 

and if he or she fail, who next, yea, and who third. And let '^'^^'^ '° ^^^ 

' ' e/ ' crown. 

it be proclaimed openly : and let all the lords temporal 
be sworn thereto, and all the knights, and squires, and gentle- 
men, and the commons, above eighteen years old, that there 
be no strife for the succession. For if they try it by the 
sword, I promise them, I see none other likeUhood but 
that, as the cardinal hath prophesied, it will cost the realm of 

And all that be sworn unto the cardinal, I warn them yet 

[3 Ferdinand king of Hungaiy, who eventually succeeded his bro- 
ther Charles V. as emperor of Gennany.] 



warneth all 
the cardinal's 
secretaries to 
repent, and 
turn to God. 

A general 
to all kinds 
of people. 

bishops make 
no account 
of perjury. 

The spiri- 
tualty are 
neither of 
the one 
side nor of 
the other 
for there is 
no truth in 
them, more 
than shall 
serve their 

once again to break their oaths, as I did in 'The Obedience.' 
And all my lord cardinal's privy secretaries and spies, by 
whom he worketh, yet I warn them to beware betime. My 
lord cardinal, though he have the name of all, yet he wrought 
not all of his own brain : but of all wily and exercised in 
mischief he called unto him the most expert, and of their 
council and practice gathered that most seemed to serve his 
wicked purpose. Let them remember Emson and Dudley, 
and such like in all chronicles ^ 

And all that be confederate with the cardinal and with 
the bishops upon any secret appointment, be they never so 
great, I rede^ them to break their bonds, and to follow right 
by the plain and open way, and to be content, and not too 
ambitious : for it is now evil climbing ; the boughs be brittle. 
And let them look well on the practice of bishops, how they 
have served all other men in times past, and into what troubles 
they have brought them that were quiet. Many a man, both 
great and small, have they brought to death in England, even 
in my days, (beside in times past,) whose blood God will seek 
once. Let them learn at the last, that it is but the cast of the 
bishops to receive the sacrament with one man secretly upon 
one purpose, and with another man as secretly upon the con- 
trary, to deceive all parties. For of perjury they make as 
much conscience as a dog of a bone; for they have power to 
dispense with all things, think they. 

At the beginning of the war between the French king 
and the emperor the prognostication said, year by year, that 
there should be great labour for peace : but it shall not come 
to pa«s ; for there is Bicorporeum, or Corpus neutrum^, that 
Cometh between and letteth it ; that is to say, a body that is 
neither-nother^, or holdeth on neither part : and that body is 
the spiritualty, which hold but of themselves only. For when 
any ambassadors go between, to entreat of peace, the bishops 
are ever the chief; which, though they make a goodly oration 
for the peace openly, to deceive the laymen, yet secretly, by 
the bishops of the same country, they cast a bone in the way : 
and there can be no peace, until the peace be for their profit, 
let it cost in the mean season what blood it will. 

\} So Marb. ed. but this last sentence is wanting in the later eds.] 
[2 Advise.] [^ Of the nature of two bodies, or a neutral body.] 

[4 That is, neither the one nor the other.] 


And as for them which for lucre, as Judas, betray the 
truth, and write against their consciences ; and which for 
honour, as Balaam, enforce to curse the people of God ; I 
would fain (if their hearts were not too hard) that they did 
repent. And as fain I would, that our prelates did repent, if 
it were possible for them to prefer God's honour before their 
own^. And let them remember what wrong they have done 
to the queen, and what fruit they have lost her, that never 
could come unto the right birth, for sorrow which she suffered 
through their false means ; than which what greater treason 
could they work unto the realm of England? 

And unto all subjects I say, that they repent. For the Anadmo- 
cause of evil rulers is the sin of the subjects, testifieth the subjects. 
scripture. And the cause of false preachers is, that the 
people have no love unto the truth, saith Paul in the second 
chapter of the second epistle to the Thessalonians. We be all 2 xhess. a. 
sinners, an hundred times greater than all that we suffer. 
Let us therefore each forgive other, remembering, the greater 
sinners the more welcome, if we repent ; according to the 
similitude of the riotous son (Luke xv.) For Christ died for Luke xv. 
sinners, and is their Saviour, and his blood their treasure, to 
pay for their sins. He is that fatted calf which is slain to 
make them good cheer withal, if they will repent, and come to 
their father again ; and his merits is that goodly raiment, 
to cover the naked deformities of our sins. 

These ^ be sufficient at this time, although I could say 
more, and though other have deserved that I more said : yea, 
and I could more deeply have entered into the practice of our 
cardinal, but I spare for divers considerations ; and namely 
for his sake, which never spared me, nor any faithful friend of 
his own, nor any that told him truth ; nor spareth to persecute 
the blood of Christ, in as clear light as ever was, and under 
as subtle colour of hypocrisy as ever was any persecution 
since the creation of the world. Neither have I said for hate Here lyn- 
of any person or persons, (God I take to record,) but of their himself to 
wickedness only, and to call them to repentance, knowledging maiice to 

«/ ' r 00 any private 

that I am a sinner also, and that a grievous. Howbeit, it is person. 
a devilish thing, and a merciless, to defend wickedness against 

[5 The remainder of the paragraph is omitted in Day's ed.] 
[6 S. and S. edition does not resume Tyndale's text, till it comes 
to the words, ' These be sufficient.'] 


the open truth, and not to have power to repent. And 
therefore, I doubt not, if men will not be warned hereby, but 
that God will utter more practice by whom he will, and not 
cease until he have broken the bond of wily hypocrites which 
persecute so subtilly. 
Godismerci- And ^ finally, if the persecution of the king's grace, and 
fgnoram%ut of other temporal persons conspiring with the spiritually, be 
the mTucious of iguorauce, I doubt not but that their eyes shall be opened 
fender. " " ' shortly, and they shall see and repent, and God shall shew 
them mercy. But and if it be of a set malice against the 
truth, and of a grounded hate against the law of God by the 
reason of a full consent they have to sin, and to walk in their 
old ways of ignorance, whereunto (being now past all repent- 
ance) they have utterly yielded themselves, to follow with full 
lust, without bridle or snaffle, which is the sin against the 
Holy Ghost ; then ye shall see, even shortly, that God shall 
turn the point of the sword, wherewith they now shed Christ's 
blood, homeward to shed their own again, after all the ex- 
amples of the bible. 
Theobedi- -^"^ ^®* them remember that I, well toward three years 

chrlsuan agouo^ to provout all occasions and all carnal beasts that seek 
?;^reey7arr Aeshly liberty, sent forth ' The true Obedience of a Christian 
before this ^^^j^> which yet they condemned, but after they had con- 
demned the new Testament, as right was, whence ' The 
Obedience' had his authority. Now then, if when the light 
is come abroad, in which their wickedness cannot be hid, they 
find no such obedience in the people unto their old tyranny, 
whose fault is it? This is a sure conclusion : none obedience, 
that is not of love, can long endure ; and in your deeds can 
no man see any cause of love : and the knowledge of Christ, 
for whose sake only a man would love you, though ye were 
never so evil, ye persecute. Now then, if any disobedience 
rise, are ye not the cause of it yourselves^? 
Say not but that ye be warned ! 

[^ S. and S. ed. omits all this paragraph except the first two words, 
■which it connects with, ' And let them remember,' &c.] 

[2 S. and S. ed. omits this clause.] 

[3 So the two old editions ; but Day has, ye are the cause of it 

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